HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Impulse oscillometry measurement of distal airways obstruction in depleted uranium‐exposed Gulf War veterans

Article

This article focuses on a cohort of Gulf War I veterans who sustained exposure to depleted uranium undergoes biennial surveillance for potential uranium‐related health effects.

Abstract

Introduction A cohort of Gulf War I veterans who sustained exposure to depleted uranium undergoes biennial surveillance for potential uranium‐related health effects. We performed impulse oscillometry and hypothesized that veterans with higher uranium body burdens would have more obstructive abnormalities than those with lower burdens. Methods We compared pulmonary function of veterans in high versus low urine uranium groups by evaluating spirometry and oscillometry values. Results Overall mean spirometry and oscillometry resistance values fell within the normal ranges. There were no significant differences between the high and low uranium groups for any parameters. However, more veterans were classified as having obstruction by oscillometry (42%) than spirometry (8%). Conclusions While oscillometry identified more veterans as obstructed, obstruction was not uranium‐related. However, the added sensitivity of this method implies a benefit in wider surveillance of exposed cohorts and holds promise in identifying abnormalities in areas of the lung historically described as silent.

Full Reference

Hines, S., Barnes, A., Brown, C., Gucer, P., Oliver, M., Gaitens, J., Condon, M., McDiarmid, M. (2018). Impulse oscillometry measurement of distal airways obstruction in depleted uranium-exposed gulf war veterans. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Vol: 61 (4), p. 308-316.