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Clin Rev Allergy Immunol [journal]
- Non-Cigarette Tobacco and the Lung. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2013 May 15.
Cigarette smoking is known to cause a wide range of damaging health outcomes; however, the effects of non-cigarette tobacco products are either unknown or perceived as less harmful than cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco, cigar smoking, and waterpipe smoking have increased in usage over the past few decades. Some experts believe that their use is reaching epidemic proportions. Factors such as a perception of harm reduction, targeted advertising, and unrecognized addiction may drive the increased consumption of non-cigarette tobacco products. In particular, the need for social acceptance, enjoyment of communal smoking activities, and exotic nature of waterpipe smoking fuels, in part, its popularity. The public is looking for "safer" alternatives to smoking cigarettes, and some groups advertise products such as smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes as the alternatives they seek. Though it is clear that cigar and waterpipe tobacco smoking are probably as dangerous to health as cigarette smoking, there is an opinion among users that the health risks are less compared to cigarette smoking. This is particularly true in younger age groups. In the cases of smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes, the risks to health are less clear and there may be evidence of a harm reduction compared to cigarettes. In this article, we discuss commonly used forms of non-cigarette tobacco products, their impacts on lung health, and relevant controversies surrounding their use.
- Volatile Substance Misuse: An Updated Review of Toxicity and Treatment. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2013 May 7.
Educational campaigns and legislative actions may have led to an overall decrease in the prevalence of volatile substance misuse (VSM) in many countries; however, it is still a common practice throughout the world. Studies currently suggest that girls are misusing volatile substances more than before and at a prevalence rate equal to or exceeding that of boys in several countries. Products that may be misused are ubiquitous and relatively easy to acquire. The most commonly misused substances in recent studies are fuels such as butane or petrol and compressed gas dusters and deodorants that may contain fluorocarbons and/or butane. Detection of VSM is challenging, therefore physicians must maintain a high level of suspicion based on history and clinical presentation. Clues to misuse are often subtle and may include the patient's proximity to a volatile substance or paraphernalia when found intoxicated, dermal burns, blisters, pigments, or rashes, and chemical odors. The primary targets of toxicity are the brain and the heart. The leading cause of death from VSM is from ventricular dysrhythmias. Treatment of toxicity begins with support of airway, breathing, and circulation. Exogenous catecholamines should be avoided if possible due to the theoretical "sensitized" and irritable myocardium. In the case of ventricular dysrhythmias, direct current defibrillation and/or beta-adrenergic receptor antagonism should be used. New evidence demonstrates the addictive potential of VSM yet effective therapy remains uncertain. Further research is needed in developing methods for preventing, detecting, and treating the harmful effects of VSM.
- The Effects of Opioids on the Lung. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2013 May 1.
The term opioid refers to a broad class of medications that are used most frequently for their analgesic effects. Along with this effect, they also produce euphoria, and it is for this reason that they have been used illicitly, as well as medicinally, for thousands of years. While the most well-known complications of opioid use and misuse include respiratory and central nervous system depression, there are many other toxicities that have been associated with these drugs. Many complications can occur with multiple different opioids, such as non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, while many of the complications are unique to the opioid used as well as the route of administration. This review focuses on the pulmonary complications associated with opioid use and abuse, but opioids can affect nearly every organ system. Their effects on the pulmonary system can be direct, such as causing granulomatous change, but they can also work indirectly. For example, opioids cause respiratory depression by decreasing sensitivity of peripheral chemoreceptors to carbon dioxide and decreasing activity in the central respiratory centers. Opioids have also been reported to affect the immune system, and place users at increased risk for many different infectious complications. Patients can have a wide array of signs and symptoms, sometimes making it difficult to recognize opioids as a cause for a patient's clinical picture. Due to the sedative effects of opioids, patients are also often not able to provide a reliable history. Knowledge of the possible toxicities of opioids can help prepare a physician to recognize the many complications associated with opioid use.
- Alternative Drugs of Abuse. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2013 May 1.
The incidence of drug abuse with alternative agents is increasing. The term "alternative drugs of abuse" is a catch-all term for abused chemicals that do not fit into one of the classic categories of drugs of abuse. The most common age group abusing these agents range from 17 to 25 years old and are often associated with group settings. Due to their diverse pharmacological nature, legislative efforts to classify these chemicals as a schedule I drug have lagged behind the development of new alternative agents. The potential reason for abuse of these agents is their hallucinogenic, dissociative, stimulant, anti-muscarinic, or sedative properties. Some of these drugs are easily obtainable such as Datura stramonium (Jimson Weed) or Lophophora williamsii (Peyote) because they are natural plants indigenous to certain regions. The diverse pharmacology and clinical effects of these agents are so broad that they do not produce a universal constellation of signs and symptoms. Detailed physical exams are essential for identifying clues leading one to suspect an alternative drug of abuse. Testing for the presence of these agents is often limited, and even when available, the results do not return in a timely fashion. Intoxications from these agents pose unique challenges for health care providers. Physician knowledge of the physiological effects of these alternative agents and the local patterns of drug of abuse are important for the accurate diagnosis and optimal care of poisoned patients. This review summarizes the current knowledge of alternative drugs of abuse and highlights their clinical presentations.
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus-A Comprehensive Review. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2013 Apr 12.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is amongst the most important pathogenic infections of childhood and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although there have been extensive studies of epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic techniques, animal models and the immunobiology of infection, there is not yet a convincing and safe vaccine available. The major histopathologic characteristics of RSV infection are acute bronchiolitis, mucosal and submucosal edema, and luminal occlusion by cellular debris of sloughed epithelial cells mixed with macrophages, strands of fibrin, and some mucin. There is a single RSV serotype with two major antigenic subgroups, A and B. Strains of both subtypes often co-circulate, but usually one subtype predominates. In temperate climates, RSV infections reflect a distinct seasonality with onset in late fall or early winter. It is believed that most children will experience at least one RSV infection by the age of 2 years. There are several key animal models of RSV. These include a model in mice and, more importantly, a bovine model; the latter reflects distinct similarity to the human disease. Importantly, the prevalence of asthma is significantly higher amongst children who are hospitalized with RSV in infancy or early childhood. However, there have been only limited investigations of candidate genes that have the potential to explain this increase in susceptibility. An atopic predisposition appears to predispose to subsequent development of asthma and it is likely that subsequent development of asthma is secondary to the pathogenic inflammatory response involving cytokines, chemokines and their cognate receptors. Numerous approaches to the development of RSV vaccines are being evaluated, as are the use of newer antiviral agents to mitigate disease. There is also significant attention being placed on the potential impact of co-infection and defining the natural history of RSV. Clearly, more research is required to define the relationships between RSV bronchiolitis, other viral induced inflammatory responses, and asthma.
- Hypersensitivity Reactions to Corticosteroids. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2013 Apr 9.
Hypersensitivity reactions to corticosteroids (CS) are rare in the general population, but they are not uncommon in high-risk groups such as patients who receive repeated doses of CS. Hypersensitivity reactions to steroids are broadly divided into two categories: immediate reactions, typically occurring within 1 h of drug administration, and non-immediate reactions, which manifest more than an hour after drug administration. The latter group is more common. We reviewed the literature using the search terms "hypersensitivity to steroids, adverse effects of steroids, steroid allergy, allergic contact dermatitis, corticosteroid side effects, and type I hypersensitivity" to identify studies or clinical reports of steroid hypersensitivity. We discuss the prevalence, mechanism, presentation, evaluation, and therapeutic options in corticosteroid hypersensitivity reactions. There is a paucity of literature on corticosteroid allergy, with most reports being case reports. Most reports involve non-systemic application of corticosteroids. Steroid hypersensitivity has been associated with type I IgE-mediated allergy including anaphylaxis. The overall prevalence of type I steroid hypersensitivity is estimated to be 0.3-0.5 %. Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is the most commonly reported non-immediate hypersensitivity reaction and usually follows topical CS application. Atopic dermatitis and stasis dermatitis of the lower extremities are risk factors for the development of ACD from topical CS. Patients can also develop hypersensitivity reactions to nasal, inhaled, oral, and parenteral CS. A close and detailed evaluation is required for the clinician to confirm the presence of a true hypersensitivity reaction to the suspected drug and choose the safest alternative. Choosing an alternative CS is not only paramount to the patient's safety but also ameliorates the worry of developing an allergic, and potentially fatal, steroid hypersensitivity reaction. This evaluation becomes especially important in high-risk groups where steroids are a life-saving treatment. The assessment should be done when the patient's underlying condition is in a quiescent state.
- Recommendations for the Management of Beta-Lactam Intolerance. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2013 Apr 4.
Beta-lactam intolerance, most of which is not IgE or even immunologically mediated even though it is commonly called an "allergy," can be safely managed using the following seven steps: 1. Avoid testing, re-challenging, or desensitizing individuals with histories of beta-lactam associated toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms syndrome, severe hepatitis, interstitial nephritis, or hemolytic anemia. 2. Avoid unnecessary antibiotic use, especially in the setting of viral infections. 3. Expect new intolerances to be reported after 0.5 to 4 % of all antibiotic utilizations, dependent on gender and the specific antibiotic used. 4. Expect a higher incidence of new intolerances in individuals with three or more medication intolerances already noted in their medical records. 5. For individuals with an appropriate penicillin class antibiotic intolerance based on a history of anaphylaxis, urticaria, macular papular rashes, unknown symptoms, or symptoms not excluded in step one, proceed with penicillin skin testing. Skin test with penicilloyl-poly-lysine and native penicillin. If skin test is negative, proceed with an oral amoxicillin challenge. If skin test and oral challenge are negative, penicillin class antibiotics may be used. If skin test or oral challenge is positive, avoid penicillin class antibiotics. If skin test or oral challenge is positive, non-penicillin-beta-lactams may be used, unless there is a history of intolerance to a specific non-penicillin-beta-lactam, then avoid that specific non-penicillin-beta-lactam. If there is life-threatening infection that can only be treated with a penicillin class antibiotic, proceed with oral penicillin desensitization prior to any oral or parenteral penicillin use. 6. For individuals with an appropriate non-penicillin-beta-lactam intolerance, avoid re-exposure to the beta-lactam implicated. An alternative beta-lactam may be used, ideally with different side chains. Penicillin allergy testing is not useful in the management of non-penicillin-beta-lactam intolerance. Non-penicillin-beta-lactam skin testing is not clinically useful and should not be done outside of a research setting. If the non-penicillin-beta-lactam implicated is needed to treat a life-threatening infection, proceed with desensitization. 7. Be ready to treat anaphylaxis with all parenteral beta-lactam use.
- Diagnosis and Management of Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions to Cephalosporins. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2013 Apr 2.
Cephalosporins are one of the most commonly prescribed classes of antibiotics. Immediate IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions have been reported with use of a specific cephalosporin, as a cross-reaction between different cephalosporins or as a cross-reaction to other β-lactam antibiotics, namely, penicillin. Historically, frequent reports of anaphylaxis following administration of first- and second-generation cephalosporins to patients with a history of penicillin allergy led to the belief of a high degree of allergic cross-reactivity. More recent evidence reveals a significantly lower risk of cross-reactivity between penicillins and the newer-generation cephalosporins. The current thought is that a shared side chain, rather than the β-lactam ring structure, is the determining factor in immunologic cross-reactivity. Understanding the chemical structure of these agents has allowed us to identify the allergenic determinants for penicillin; however, the exact allergenic determinants of cephalosporins are less well understood. For this reason, standardized diagnostic skin testing is not available for cephalosporins as it is for penicillin. Nevertheless, skin testing to the cephalosporin in question, using a nonirritating concentration, provides additional information, which can further guide the work-up of a patient suspected of having an allergy to that drug. Together, the history and the skin test results can assist the allergist in the decision to recommend continued drug avoidance or to perform a graded challenge versus an induction of tolerance procedure.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Bone Fragility Is Associated With Upregulation of IL17 and DKK1 Gene Expression. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2013 Apr 2.
Our aim was to compare bone gene expression in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and primary osteoporosis (OP) patients. Secondary aims were to determine the association of gene expression of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway with inflammatory cytokines in the bone microenvironment and to assess the serum levels of Wnt/β-catenin proteins in both groups. RA patients referred for hip replacement surgery were recruited. Primary OP patients were used as controls. Gene expression of Wnt pathway mediators, matrix proteins, and pro-inflammatory cytokines were analyzed in bone samples. Bone turnover markers, inflammatory cytokines, and Wnt mediators were measured in serum. Twenty-two patients were included: 10 with RA and 12 with primary OP. The expressions of Wnt10b (p = 0.034), its co-receptor LRP6 (p = 0.041), and its negative regulator DKK1 (p = 0.008) were upregulated in RA bone. IL17 gene expression in bone was upregulated in RA patients (p = 0.031) and correlated positively with Wnt10b (r = 0.810, p = 0.015), DKK2 (r = 0.800, p = 0.010), and RANKL/OPG ratio (r = 0.762, p = 0.028). DKK2 (p = 0.04) was significantly decreased in RA serum compared with primary OP. In conclusion, bone fragility in RA patients is induced by an unbalanced bone microenvironment and is associated with a specific gene expression pattern, namely, the upregulation of IL17 and DKK1, suggesting that the modulation of these two pathways might prevent RA systemic bone loss.
- Fish Allergy: In Review. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2013 Feb 27.
Globally, the rising consumption of fish and its derivatives, due to its nutritional value and divergence of international cuisines, has led to an increase in reports of adverse reactions to fish. Reactions to fish are not only mediated by the immune system causing allergies, but are often caused by various toxins and parasites including ciguatera and Anisakis. Allergic reactions to fish can be serious and life threatening and children usually do not outgrow this type of food allergy. The route of exposure is not only restricted to ingestion but include manual handling and inhalation of cooking vapors in the domestic and occupational environment. Prevalence rates of self-reported fish allergy range from 0.2 to 2.29 % in the general population, but can reach up to 8 % among fish processing workers. Fish allergy seems to vary with geographical eating habits, type of fish processing, and fish species exposure. The major fish allergen characterized is parvalbumin in addition to several less well-known allergens. This contemporary review discusses interesting and new findings in the area of fish allergy including demographics, novel allergens identified, immunological mechanisms of sensitization, and innovative approaches in diagnosing and managing this life-long disease.