Background: Associations between acute respiratory inflammatory responses, changes in bronchial hyperresponsiveness, serum pneumoprotein levels, and exposure to fire smoke were studied.
Methods: The study comprised 51 firefighters. Blood samples were taken within 24 hr following exposure to fire smoke, and after a week and 3 months. Sputum was induced within 5 days post-exposure and subjects underwent spirometry and methacholine provocation one week post-exposure. Exposure was registered by a questionnaire.
Results: No changes were observed following smoke exposure in bronchial hyperresponsiveness and serum pneumoprotein levels. Nevertheless, in a sizable proportion of the firefighters (44%) elevated sputum neutrophil levels (≥60%) were found. Serum IL-8 concentrations were higher 24 hr post-exposure compared to pre-exposure. Elevated neutrophil levels in sputum were associated with elevated serum IL-8 (β = 0.010, P = 0.004) and TNFα (β = 0.005, P = 0.034) levels within 24 hr post-exposure and IL-8 elevation lasted up to 3 months.
Conclusions: Acute exposure to fire smoke induces acute neutrophilic airway and long-lasting systemic inflammation in healthy firefighters in the absence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.