The evolving spectrum of pulmonary disease in responders to the World Trade Center tragedy

Tee L. Guidotti, David J. Prezant, Rafael E. De La Hoz, Albert Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On September 11, 2001, events at the World Trade Center (WTC) exposed residents of New York City to WTC dust and products of combustion and pyrolysis. The majority of WTC-exposed fire department rescue workers experienced a substantial decline in airflow over the first 12 months post-9/11, in addition to the normal age-related decline that affected all responders, followed by a persistent plateau in pulmonary function in the 6 years thereafter. The spectrum of the resulting pulmonary diseases consists of chronic inflammation, characterized by airflow obstruction, and expressing itself in different ways in large and small airways. These conditions include irritant induced asthma, non-specific chronic bronchitis, aggravated pre-existing obstructive lung disease (asthma or COPD), and bronchiolitis. Conditions concomitant with airways obstruction, particularly chronic rhinosinusitis and upper airway disease, and gastroesophageal reflux, have been prominent in this population. Less common have been reports of sarcoidosis or interstitial pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis and bronchiolitis are generally characterized by long latency, relatively slow progression, and a silent period with respect to pulmonary function during its evolution. For these reasons, the incidence of these outcomes may be underestimated and may increase over time. The spectrum of chronic obstructive airways disease is broad in this population and may importantly include involvement at the bronchiolar level, manifested as small airways disease. Protocols that go beyond conventional screening pulmonary function testing and imaging may be necessary to identify these diseases in order to understand the underlying pathologic processes so that treatment can be most effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-660
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume54
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Lung Diseases
Bronchiolitis
Pulmonary Fibrosis
Lung
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Asthma
Obstructive Lung Diseases
Irritants
Chronic Bronchitis
Airway Obstruction
Pathologic Processes
Sarcoidosis
Gastroesophageal Reflux
Dust
Population
Inflammation
Incidence

Keywords

  • Bronchiolitis obliterans
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis
  • Dust
  • FEV
  • Inhalation toxicology
  • Interaction
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Prognosis
  • Respiratory impairment
  • Starling resistor
  • Vital capacity
  • World Trade Center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

The evolving spectrum of pulmonary disease in responders to the World Trade Center tragedy. / Guidotti, Tee L.; Prezant, David J.; De La Hoz, Rafael E.; Miller, Albert.

In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Vol. 54, No. 9, 09.2011, p. 649-660.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Guidotti, Tee L. ; Prezant, David J. ; De La Hoz, Rafael E. ; Miller, Albert. / The evolving spectrum of pulmonary disease in responders to the World Trade Center tragedy. In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2011 ; Vol. 54, No. 9. pp. 649-660.
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