Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

CT Helps Find Cause Of Puzzling Cough In World Trade Center Rescue Workers

Date:
December 3, 2004
Source:
Radiological Society Of North America
Summary:
Radiologists are one step closer to solving a mysterious condition affecting World Trade Center (WTC) rescue and recovery workers.

Air Trapping Grade 3 (0–4).
Credit: Image courtesy of Radiological Society Of North America

CHICAGO - Radiologists are one step closer to solving a mysterious condition affecting World Trade Center (WTC) rescue and recovery workers.

Air trapping, a manifestation of obstructed lung airways often seen in smokers and the elderly, was identified in 25 of 29 rescue and recovery workers suffering from "WTC cough," according to early research results presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"Our research further corroborates that people at the World Trade Center site on Sept. 11, 2001, and the days after were exposed to environmental toxins that initiated airway problems," said lead author David S. Mendelson, M.D., associate professor of radiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

The diagnosis was made using end-expiratory high-resolution CT, a rarely used test that is performed after patients have expelled their breath. In a typical chest CT, the scan is performed during a deep breath hold. Twenty-nine rescue and recovery workers whose respiratory complaints could not be clearly characterized by routine pulmonary function tests were evaluated with standard CT and end-expiratory CT. The end-expiratory CT revealed abnormalities not detected on the standard CT.

These patients had been referred by the WTC Health Effects Treatment Program, a dedicated clinical effort for World Trade Center rescue and cleanup workers that has evaluated about 900 patients since January 2003. Approximately 40 percent of these patients have been identified as having new or exacerbated respiratory problems since their work at Ground Zero. Researchers speculate that small-airway disease has resulted from exposure to large amounts of toxic dust particles found at the WTC site.

Many of the impairments are clearly obstructive, but there also appears to be a patient subgroup with definite symptoms in whom conventional tests fail to show the nature and extent of the obstruction. The term "WTC cough" was coined to describe ailments that could not be clearly characterized in this group, but the addition of end-expiratory CT revealed abnormalities beyond the mild changes that can be seen in smokers and the elderly.

Although thought to be benign, air trapping is symptomatic — causing shortness of breath, dry cough or wheezing — and is treated as a variant of asthma, with inhaled steroids and bronchodilators.

"We remain attentive to the possibility of other adverse health effects that still may occur," said co-author Rafael de la Hoz, M.D. "We have seen evidence of improvement in some patients, but certainly not in all. We are hoping to secure enough funding to systematically continue the characterization and treatment of these effects."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 10,000 Fire Department of New York personnel and 30,000 other workers and volunteers were exposed to environmental stress, toxins and other physical hazards during rescue and recovery efforts.

Co-authors of the paper being presented by Dr. Mendelson are Dr. de la Hoz, Mark Roggeveen, M.D., Stephen Levin, M.D., and Robin Herbert, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radiological Society Of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Radiological Society Of North America. "CT Helps Find Cause Of Puzzling Cough In World Trade Center Rescue Workers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041201000501.htm>.
Radiological Society Of North America. (2004, December 3). CT Helps Find Cause Of Puzzling Cough In World Trade Center Rescue Workers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041201000501.htm
Radiological Society Of North America. "CT Helps Find Cause Of Puzzling Cough In World Trade Center Rescue Workers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041201000501.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins