[Isocyanate-induced alveolitis in a furniture manufacture worker]

Rev Mal Respir. 2001 Sep;18(4 Pt 1):429-31.
[Article in French]


A 41-year-old woman who worked in a furniture plant was admitted to hospital for acute dyspnea that had developed a few hours she marked pieces of "Alcantara" material with a heated metallic blade. The chest x-ray showed a restrictive syndrome. The lymphocyte count was high in the bronchioalveolar lavage fluid with a CD4/CD8 ratio of 0.11, leading to the diagnosis of alveolitis. Investigations at the work place allowed identification and evaluation of the causal agent. Alcantara is a synthetic fabric composed of 70% polyurethane fibers, which when burned produces isocyanate monomers. After eliminating exposure and institution of corticosteroid therapy, the outcome was good with complete recovery. The risk was eliminated by changing the work procedure. This risk has not been reported earlier for furniture manufacture.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / chemically induced*
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / diagnostic imaging
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings
  • Isocyanates / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupations
  • Polyurethanes / adverse effects
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Time Factors


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Isocyanates
  • Polyurethanes