ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

High-Resolution Computed Tomography and Pulmonary Function Findings of Occupational Arsenic Exposure in Workers
Recai Ergün 1, Ender Evcik 2, Dilek Ergün 3, Begüm Ergan 4, Esin Özkan 5, Özge Gündüz 6
1Clinic of Chest Diseases, Dışkapı Yıldırım Beyazıt Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
2Clinic of Radiology, Ankara Occupational Diseases Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
3Clinic of Chest Diseases, Ankara Occupational Diseases Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
4Department of Chest Diseases, Dokuz Eylül University School of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey
5Clinic of Biochemistry, Ankara Occupational Diseases Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
6Department of Dermatology, Ufuk University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/balkanmedj.2016.0795
Pages : 263-268

Background: The number of studies where non-malignant pulmonary diseases are evaluated after occupational arsenic exposure is very few.
Aims: To investigate the effects of occupational arsenic exposure on the lung by high-resolution computed tomography and pulmonary function tests.
Study Design: Retrospective cross-sectional study.
Methods: In this study, 256 workers with suspected respiratory occupational arsenic exposure were included, with an average age of 32.9±7.8 years and an average of 3.5±2.7 working years. Hair and urinary arsenic levels were analysed. High-resolution computed tomography and pulmonary function tests were done.
Results: In workers with occupational arsenic exposure, high-resolution computed tomography showed 18.8% pulmonary involvement. In pulmonary involvement, pulmonary nodule was the most frequently seen lesion (64.5%). The other findings of pulmonary involvement were 18.8% diffuse interstitial lung disease, 12.5% bronchiectasis, and 27.1% bullae-emphysema. The mean age of patients with pulmonary involvement was higher and as they smoked more. The pulmonary involvement was 5.2 times higher in patients with skin lesions because of arsenic. Diffusing capacity of lung for carbon monoxide was significantly lower in patients with pulmonary involvement.
Conclusion: Besides lung cancer, chronic occupational inhalation of arsenic exposure may cause non-malignant pulmonary findings such as bronchiectasis, pulmonary nodules and diffuse interstitial lung disease. So, in order to detect pulmonary involvement in the early stages, workers who experience occupational arsenic exposure should be followed by diffusion test and high-resolution computed tomography.

Keywords : Arsenic, occupational disease, pulmonary function
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