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A case of isocyanate-induced asthma possibly complicated by food allergy after peanut consumption: a case report

Author(s): Mingomataj Ervin | Gjata Enkelejda | Xhixha Fatmira | Hyso Entela

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 29;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background Isocyanates are extensively used in the manufacture of polyurethane foams, plastics, coatings or adhesives. They are a major cause of occupational asthma in a proportion of exposed workers. Recent findings in animal models have demonstrated that isocyanate-induced asthma does not always represent an IgE-mediated sensitization, but still a mixed profile of CD4+ Th1 and TH2, as well as a CD8+ immune response. Despite immunologic similarities between this pathology and IgE-mediated food allergies, this co-morbidity is rarely reported. Case presentation A 50-year old man employed as vehicle body painter, for 8 years complained about breathlessness, wheezing, sneezing, nasal obstruction and excessive production of mucus during the use of DuPont Refinish Centari Tintings – an acrylic enamel tint. Symptoms occurred 15–20 minutes after workplace exposure and usually persisted until evening, or at times, up to two consecutive days. The above mentioned symptoms were associated with a decrease of lung functions parameters. The use of inhaled adrenergic bronchio-dilatators and steroids relived the symptoms. In addition, three years ago he developed an anaphylactic reaction due to peanut consumption, experiencing urticaria, angioedema and airway obstruction. He was successfully treated in the hospital. Later, the subject exhibited labial itching, as well as orbital and perioral angioedema, 20 minutes after stationary performance of challenge test with peanuts. Evaluating the reported data, this process might be developed rather due to induction of a TH2 profile, because in both cases have occurred IgE-mediated symptoms. A less plausible mechanism could be the presence of isocyanates in peanuts due to a probable contamination by pesticides resulting in an allergic reaction after "consumption" of di-isocyanate as long as the isocyanate contamination of peanuts has not been proven. Conclusion Despite the lack of relevant laboratory findings, this might be the first case of isocyanate-induced occupational asthma described in a patient who developed peanut allergy symptoms later in his life. However, in order to take further suitable precautions, further studies are necessary to elucidate the questions posed in this report.
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