Isolated Diffusing Capacity Reduction is a Common Clinical Presentation in Deployed Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with Deployment-related Environmental Exposures


A study which examines the lung volumes and pulmonary function testing of post 9/11 veterans.


Following deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan (“post‐9/11”), a spectrum of respiratory conditions has been reported; however, there are few published reports of objective physiologic data or later experience of symptoms and function. To better understand the post‐deployment clinical presentation, we conducted a retrospective review of pulmonary function testing in 143 veterans referred to our tertiary care clinic for post‐deployment health concerns. More than 75% of our sample had normal lung volumes and spirometry on pulmonary function testing; however, an isolated reduction in lung diffusing capacity (DLCO) was observed in 30% of our sample of post‐9/11 veterans. An isolated reduction in DLCO is a rare pattern in primary‐care seeking dyspneic patients, but is commonly associated with underlying pulmonary disease. Post‐9/11 veterans with respiratory complaints and an isolated reduction in DLCO should undergo further evaluation.

Full Reference

Falvo, M. J. ; Helmer, D. A. ; Klein, J. C. ; Osinubi, O. Y. ; Ndirangu, D. ; Patrick-DeLuca, L. A. ; Sotolongo, A. M. (2018). Isolated diffusing capacity reduction is a common clinical presentation in deployed Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with deployment-related environmental exposures. Clinical Respiratory Journal. Vol:12 (2), p. 795-8.