Background: Occupational eosinophilic bronchitis (OEB) has been described only as anecdotal case reports. Objective: We investigated the clinical and inflammatory characteristics of subjects with OEB identified in a cohort of subjects who completed a specific inhalation challenge (SIC) with occupational agents. Methods: In this retrospective multicenter study, OEB was defined by (1) a fall in FEV1 less than 15% during the SIC and the absence of nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness both before and after the SIC and (2) a postchallenge increase of 3% or more in sputum eosinophils. The subjects who fulfilled these criteria were compared with 226 subjects with a negative SIC and 30 subjects with a positive SIC who failed to show baseline nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Results: An isolated increase in postchallenge sputum eosinophils was documented in 33 of 259 subjects (13%) with a negative SIC. These subjects reported significantly more often an isolated cough at work compared with the negative and positive SIC controls. When compared with positive SIC controls, the subjects with OEB experienced less frequently work-related wheezing and reported a shorter duration of symptoms at work. The sensitivity of the post-SIC increase in fractional exhaled nitric oxide in identifying OEB among subjects with a negative SIC was low, ranging from 43% to 24% using cutoff values of 8 ppb to 17.5 ppb, whereas the specificity was high (90%-97%). Conclusions: This study highlights the relevance of induced sputum analysis in the investigation of work-related asthma symptoms to identify isolated increases in sputum eosinophils that are consistent with a diagnosis of OEB.

Characterization of Occupational Eosinophilic Bronchitis in a Multicenter Cohort of Subjects with Work-Related Asthma Symptoms

dell'Omo M.;
2021

Abstract

Background: Occupational eosinophilic bronchitis (OEB) has been described only as anecdotal case reports. Objective: We investigated the clinical and inflammatory characteristics of subjects with OEB identified in a cohort of subjects who completed a specific inhalation challenge (SIC) with occupational agents. Methods: In this retrospective multicenter study, OEB was defined by (1) a fall in FEV1 less than 15% during the SIC and the absence of nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness both before and after the SIC and (2) a postchallenge increase of 3% or more in sputum eosinophils. The subjects who fulfilled these criteria were compared with 226 subjects with a negative SIC and 30 subjects with a positive SIC who failed to show baseline nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Results: An isolated increase in postchallenge sputum eosinophils was documented in 33 of 259 subjects (13%) with a negative SIC. These subjects reported significantly more often an isolated cough at work compared with the negative and positive SIC controls. When compared with positive SIC controls, the subjects with OEB experienced less frequently work-related wheezing and reported a shorter duration of symptoms at work. The sensitivity of the post-SIC increase in fractional exhaled nitric oxide in identifying OEB among subjects with a negative SIC was low, ranging from 43% to 24% using cutoff values of 8 ppb to 17.5 ppb, whereas the specificity was high (90%-97%). Conclusions: This study highlights the relevance of induced sputum analysis in the investigation of work-related asthma symptoms to identify isolated increases in sputum eosinophils that are consistent with a diagnosis of OEB.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1526488
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