Prospective study of work related respiratory symptoms in trainee bakers. (41/1515)

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the occurrence of work related respiratory symptoms and to assess the effect of atopy in a group of trainee bakers. METHODS: A prospective study of work related respiratory symptoms among 125 trainee bakers who were investigated with a questionnaire plus skin prick test with wheat flour and alpha-amylase allergens at baseline and then after 6, 18, and 30 months. RESULTS: At the baseline examination, four students (3.2%) complained of respiratory symptoms (cough and rhinitis) when working with flours and four were skin positive to wheat flour or alpha-amylase. The incidence of work related respiratory symptoms was 3.4% at 6 months, and the cumulative incidence was 4.8% and 9.0% at 18 and 30 months, respectively. The incidence of skin sensitisation to occupational allergens was 4.6% at 6 months and the cumulative incidence was 4.6% at 18 months and 10.1% at 30 months. The generalised estimating equation approach to longitudinal data showed that work related respiratory symptoms in the study population was significantly associated with a personal history of allergic disease (odds ratio (OR) 5.8, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.8 to 18.2) and skin sensitisation to wheat flour or alpha-amylase (OR 4.3, 95% CI 1.2 to 14.9). Atopy based on prick test was not related to the occurrence of work related respiratory symptoms over time (OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.3 to 3.8). CONCLUSIONS: Personal history of allergic disease is a predisposing factor for the development of symptoms caused by exposure to wheat flour and may be a criterion of unsuitability for starting a career as a baker. Atopy based on the skin prick test is useful for identifying subjects with allergic disease, but should not be used to exclude non-symptomatic atopic people from bakery work.  (+info)

Prolonged afebrile nonproductive cough illnesses in American soldiers in Korea: a serological search for causation. (42/1515)

A serological study was undertaken to investigate infections in active-duty United States soldiers with illnesses characterized by prolonged, afebrile, nonproductive coughs. Fifty-four soldiers were enrolled with such illness of >/=2 weeks' duration (case patients) along with 55 well soldiers (control subjects). Serum samples were tested for IgG and IgA antibody to 3 Bordetella pertussis antigens, pertussis agglutinins, IgM antibodies to Mycoplasma pneumoniae, IgM and IgG antibodies to Chlamydia pneumoniae, and IgM antibody to adenoviruses. Forty-six case patients (85%) had evidence of recent infection with Bordetella species, M. pneumoniae, or C. pneumoniae, and many had evidence of mixed infections; there were 27 Bordetella species, 20 C. pneumoniae, and 33 M. pneumoniae recent infections. Fifteen case patients had high titers of IgG or IgA to B. pertussis filamentous hemagglutinin without high titers of antibodies to other B. pertussis antigens, which suggested the presence of cross-reacting antibodies to M. pneumoniae and perhaps C. pneumoniae or unidentified infectious agent or agents. Since illnesses due to Bordetella species, M. pneumoniae, and C. pneumoniae can all be treated with macrolide antibiotics and B. pertussis illness can be prevented by immunization, and since military readiness was affected in 63% of the cases, it seems important to conduct further studies in military populations.  (+info)

Lady Windermere syndrome: middle lobe bronchiectasis and Mycobacterium avium complex infection due to voluntary cough suppression. (43/1515)

An 81-year-old woman who presented with middle lobe bronchiectasis and Mycobacterium avium complex infection is described. She had a history of habitual suppression of cough, as in Lady Windermere syndrome. She was thin and had mild kyphoscoliosis but had no history of smoking or connective tissue disease. The middle lobe and lingula are predisposed to chronic inflammation because of their particular anatomic structures. Inability to clear the secretions from the airway due to voluntary cough suppression may predispose to bronchiectasis and M. avium complex infection.  (+info)

Differential effects of cough, valsalva, and continence status on vesical neck movement. (44/1515)

OBJECTIVE: We tested the null hypothesis that vesical neck descent is the same during a cough and during a Valsalva maneuver. We also tested the secondary null hypothesis that differences in vesical neck mobility would be independent of parity and continence status. METHODS: Three groups were included: 17 nulliparous continent (31.3 +/- 5.6; range 22-42 years), 18 primiparous continent (30.4 +/- 4.3; 24-43), and 23 primiparous stress-incontinent (31.9 +/- 3.9; 25-38) women. Measures of vesical neck position at rest and during displacement were obtained by ultrasound. Abdominal pressures were recorded simultaneously using an intravaginal microtransducer catheter. To control for differing abdominal pressures, the stiffness of the vesical neck support was calculated by dividing the pressure exerted during a particular effort by the urethral descent during that effort. RESULTS: The primiparous stress-incontinent women displayed similar vesical neck mobility during a cough effort and during a Valsalva maneuver (13.8 mm compared with 14.8 mm; P =.49). The nulliparous continent women (8.2 mm compared with 12.4 mm; P =. 001) and the primiparous continent women (9.9 mm compared with 14.5 mm; P =.002) displayed less mobility during a cough than during a Valsalva maneuver despite greater abdominal pressure during cough. The nulliparas displayed greater pelvic floor stiffness during a cough compared with the continent and incontinent primiparas (22.7, 15.5, 12.2 cm H(2)O/mm, respectively; P =.001). CONCLUSION: There are quantifiable differences in vesical neck mobility during a cough and Valsalva maneuver in continent women. This difference is lost in the primiparous stress-incontinent women.  (+info)

Responses of the anterolateral abdominal muscles during cough and expiratory threshold loading in the cat. (45/1515)

The present study was conducted to determine the pattern of activation of the anterolateral abdominal muscles during the cough reflex. Electromyograms (EMGs) of the rectus abdominis, external oblique, internal oblique, transversus abdominis, and parasternal muscles were recorded along with gastric pressure in anesthetized cats. Cough was produced by mechanical stimulation of the lumen of the intrathoracic trachea or larynx. The pattern of EMG activation of these muscles during cough was compared with that during graded expiratory threshold loading (ETL; 1-30 cmH(2)O). ETL elicited differential recruitment of abdominal muscle EMG activity (transversus abdominis > internal oblique > rectus abdominis congruent with external oblique). In contrast, both laryngeal and tracheobronchial cough resulted in simultaneous activation of all four anterolateral abdominal muscles with peak EMG amplitudes 3- to 10-fold greater than those observed during the largest ETL. Gastric pressures during laryngeal and tracheobronchial cough were at least eightfold greater than those produced by the largest ETL. These results suggest that, unlike their behavior during expiratory loading, the anterolateral abdominal muscles act as a unit during cough.  (+info)

The prevalence of potentially pathogenic bacteria in nasopharyngeal samples from individuals with a long-standing cough-clinical value of a nasopharyngeal sample. (46/1515)

BACKGROUND: A long-standing cough is a common cause for visits to a GP. If the patient also has a respiratory tract infection, one of the concerns of the doctor is to decide if the cough is caused by an underlying bacterial infection. OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to investigate whether a nasopharyngeal sample, obtained in routine medical practice, could yield information about the aetiology of a long-standing cough in patients with a respiratory tract infection. METHODS: The prevalence of potentially pathogenic bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis) in nasopharyngeal swab samples from 618 healthy individuals was compared with that from 236 patients with a respiratory tract infection and long-standing cough (>9 days) of the same age in a defined geographical area. RESULTS: The proportion of cultures with potentially pathogenic bacteria decreased with age and was 44% among healthy individuals of pre-school age, 13% in schoolchildren and 6% in adults. The corresponding figures for patients with a long-standing cough were 83, 35 and 36%, respectively. All types of potentially pathogenic bacteria were found more frequently in pre-school children and in adults with a long-standing cough compared with healthy individuals of the same age. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with a respiratory tract infection and a long-standing cough, where a bacterial infection is suspected on clinical grounds, a nasopharyngeal culture could yield information about the aetiology. If M.catarrhalis is found in pre-school children, or if H.influenzae is found in adults, they are likely to be the aetiological agent.  (+info)

Coughing and choking in motor neuron disease. (47/1515)

OBJECTIVES: To assess the frequency and severity of coughing and choking episodes, possible related factors, and their association with chest infections in patients with motor neuron disease (MND). METHODS: Thirty seven patients with MND and 23 healthy volunteers were studied. Cough was assessed using a questionnaire and a 3 day diary, and volitional cough quantified by peak cough flow and sound intensity. Other clinical symptoms, smoking habit, affective state, oral secretions, bulbar signs, and quantitative assessments of swallowing and respiratory function were documented. RESULTS: Patients with MND coughed and choked significantly more often and to a greater degree than the healthy volunteers (26 of 37 patients with MND and 2 of 23 volunteers, p<0.001). Female sex, older age, abnormal speech, reduced swallowing capacity, and low forced vital capacity (FVC)% predicted were each significantly associated with excessive coughing and choking episodes in patients with MND. Smokers had significantly more severe and prolonged episodes of coughing and choking than non-smokers (p<0.05). Patients with upper motor neuron bulbar signs had a greater tendency to severe and prolonged episodes of coughing and choking than those without (p<0. 05). Chest infections were reported only rarely among the patients who coughed and choked. CONCLUSIONS: Coughing and choking episodes are common in patients with MND but infrequently associated with overt chest infection. Upper motor neuron bulbar signs may both promote factors (for instance, dysphagia) which trigger cough and reduce volitional capacity to suppress it.  (+info)

Airway inflammation, airway responsiveness and cough before and after inhaled budesonide in patients with eosinophilic bronchitis. (48/1515)

Eosinophilic bronchitis is a common cause of chronic cough, characterized by sputum eosinophilia similar to that seen in asthma, but unlike asthma the patients have no objective evidence of variable airflow obstruction or airway hyperresponsiveness. The reason for the different functional associations is unclear. The authors have tested the hypothesis that in eosinophilic bronchitis the inflammation is mainly localized in the upper airway. In an open study the authors measured the lower (provocative concentration causing a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in one second (PC20)) and upper (PC25 MIF50) airway responsiveness to histamine, lower and upper airway inflammation using induced sputum and nasal lavage, in II patients with eosinophilic bronchitis. The authors assessed changes in these measures and in cough reflex sensitivity to capsaicin and cough severity after 400 microg of inhaled budesonide for 4 weeks. A nasal eosinophilia was present in only three patients with one having upper airway hyperresponsiveness. Following treatment with inhaled corticosteroids the geometric mean sputum eosinophil count decreased from 12.8% to 2.9% (mean difference 4.4-fold, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.14-10.02), the mean +/- sem cough visual analogue score on a 100 mm scale decreased from 27.2 +/- 6.6 mm to 12.6 +/- 5.7 mm (mean difference 14.6, 95% CI 9.1-20.1) and the cough sensitivity assessed as the capsaicin concentration required to cause two coughs (C2) and five coughs (C5) improved (C2 mean difference 0.75 doubling concentrations, 95% CI 0.36-1.1; C5 mean difference 1.3 doubling concentration, 95% CI 0.6-2.1). There was a significant positive correlation between the fold change in sputum eosinophil count and doubling dose change in C5 after inhaled budesonide (r=0.61). It is concluded that upper airway inflammation is not prominent in eosinophilic bronchitis and that inhaled budesonide improves the sputum eosinophilia, cough severity and sensitivity suggesting a causal link between the inflammation and cough.  (+info)