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Testing for damage to airways caused by drinking, smoking

Date:
September 14, 2016
Source:
Research Society on Alcoholism
Summary:
Cells in the lung are constantly exposed to oxygen and intermittently exposed to other environmental factors, resulting in a susceptibility to oxidative injury. Both alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and cigarette smoking heighten pulmonary oxidative stress, likely due to antioxidant depletion. Pulmonary oxidative stress damages innate immunity, which can contribute to increased pneumonia susceptibility and severity. This study sought to understand whether measures of pulmonary oxidative stress in upper airway fluid are comparable to measures in the lower airways, and whether either compartment is preferentially affected by AUDs and/or smoking.
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Cells in the lung are constantly exposed to oxygen and intermittently exposed to other environmental factors, resulting in a susceptibility to oxidative injury. Both alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and cigarette smoking heighten pulmonary oxidative stress, likely due to antioxidant depletion. Pulmonary oxidative stress damages innate immunity, which can contribute to increased pneumonia susceptibility and severity. This study sought to understand whether measures of pulmonary oxidative stress in upper airway fluid are comparable to measures in the lower airways, and whether either compartment is preferentially affected by AUDs and/or smoking. If upper airways' and lower airways' oxidative stress indices are similar, less invasive methods to assess pulmonary oxidative stress, such as mini-bronchoalveolar lavage (mini-BAL) or sputum evaluations, could be used in research and clinical settings.

Researchers recruited 81 participants, with and without AUDs, smokers and non-smokers, to undergo bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Samples representative of bronchial airways as well as the alveolar space were obtained, and measures of thiol antioxidants were calculated.

Results showed that analyzing fluid collected after instilling 50 ml (~3 tablespoonsful) of fluid during a BAL procedure may be suitable for assessing intrapulmonary oxidative stress related to thiol depletion in the distal lung. Findings also indicated that AUDs and smoking may disproportionately increase upper airways oxidative stress. These findings could inform future therapeutic interventions.


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Materials provided by Research Society on Alcoholism. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ellen L. Burnham, Alicia McNally, Jeanette Gaydos, Lou Ann S. Brown. The Relationship Between Airway Antioxidant Levels, Alcohol Use Disorders, and Cigarette Smoking. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2016; DOI: 10.1111/acer.13201

Cite This Page:

Research Society on Alcoholism. "Testing for damage to airways caused by drinking, smoking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160914172408.htm>.
Research Society on Alcoholism. (2016, September 14). Testing for damage to airways caused by drinking, smoking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160914172408.htm
Research Society on Alcoholism. "Testing for damage to airways caused by drinking, smoking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160914172408.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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