Occupational Bronchiolitis: An Update

Clin Chest Med. 2020 Dec;41(4):661-686. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2020.08.011.


Occupational bronchiolitis is characterized by inflammation of the small airways, and represents a heterogeneous set of lung conditions that can occur following a range of inhalation exposures related to work. The most common clinical presentation includes insidious onset of exertional dyspnea and cough. Multiple reports in recent years have drawn attention to previously unrecognized risk factors for occupational bronchiolitis following exposures in several settings. Both current and past occupational exposures, including prior military deployment-related exposures, should be considered in patients undergoing evaluation for unexplained dyspnea. Diagnostic testing for potential bronchiolitis should include a thorough assessment of the small airways.

Keywords: 2,3-Pentanedione; Constrictive bronchiolitis; Diacetyl; Flavoring; Military deployment; Obliterative bronchiolitis; Styrene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*