BRONCHOALVEOLAR LAVAGE AND GALLIUM-67 LUNG SCANNING IN THE EVALUATION OF ASBESTOS-EXPOSED INDIVIDUALS
In this study, an attempt is made to evaluate certain parameters that might indicate the beginning of a certain fibrogenic activity in the lung parenchyma, even before such changes become visible on the chest x-ray. The hypothesis is that studies such as certain bronchoalveolar immunological characteristics and Gallium-67 lung scans may be more sensitive indicators of parenchymal lung damage in response to asbestos inhalation than conventional radiographic criteria. If so, then in those cases where the criteria for the diagnosis of asbestosis lack the presence of parenchymal changes, it would be unwise to deny the diagnosis unless further investigations, such as the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid analysis and the Gallium-67 lung scan techniques, are made available. Four groups of individuals have been included in this study. The volunteer group showing no history of asbestos exposure with normal chest x-rays has been used as a normal healthy comparison group. The other three groups are all asbestos-exposed but differ as to their findings in the chest radiographs. One has parenchymal changes (0/1 or more, ILO Classification), the second has no parenchymal but pleural changes, and the third has neither. The most significant laboratory parameter for bronchoalveolar lavage, in this study, is that of Neutrophils (PMNs). All three asbestos-exposed groups showed no differences when compared with each other, while such differences were statistically significant when such groups were separately compared with the normal comparison group. A similar finding existed also when the Helper: Suppressor T-Cell ratios were compared, and found to be higher in all the asbestos-exposed groups. Another sensitive test is that of Gallium-67 lung scan. This was found to be positive in some patients where parenchymal changes were absent. Even in some of those who showed neither parenchymal nor pleural changes in their chest x-ray showed positive test results. Such changes indicate a state of an underlying pathogenic process that is still undetectable by conventional radiography. This highly recommends the future application of such tests for the early detection of active pulmonary disease, especially in those who show no parenchymal changes in their chest x-rays. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)
AL-TAWIL, WALID G, "BRONCHOALVEOLAR LAVAGE AND GALLIUM-67 LUNG SCANNING IN THE EVALUATION OF ASBESTOS-EXPOSED INDIVIDUALS" (1986). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8712586.