Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome. A study of 18 cases

Roser Costa Solà, Xavier Muñoz Gall, Berta Avilés Huertas, M. Estrella Drobnic Martínez, Ramon Orriols Martínez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: We intended to perform a descriptive-evolutive study of a series of patients diagnosed with Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome. PATIENTS AND METHOD: Retrospective study of 18 patients diagnosed with Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome. Clinical data, functional respiratory study, and allergic and laboratory tests were collected. The clinical, functional and occupational evolution one year after diagnosis was evaluated. RESULTS: Twelve men and 4 women aged 27 to 66 years were evaluated. More frequent activities were metallurgy and cleaning, and the related agents were derived from chlorine and sulphur. Time from the beginning of exposure to development of symptoms was 1 hour in 10 (55%) patients and less than 24 hours in all cases. All patients reported to have dyspnea (100%), 12 (67%) wheezing, 8 (44%) nose and throat symptoms, 8 (44%) general symptoms such as headache and vomits, and 4 (22%) ocular manifestations. Although all patients received medical assistance after exposure, a correct diagnosis was made some months or years later (average time 3.6 years). At that time there was an airway obstruction in 6 of 18 (33%) patients. With regard to the clinical evolution, there was an improvement in 8 of 18 (44%) patients, while the rest remained stable. In the functional follow up, 8 of 17 (47%) snowed no changes, 6 of 17 (35%) improved and 3 of 17 (18%) worsened. Among the patients who inhaled in the workplace, 7 of 14 (50%) continued working in the same job, 5 of 14 (36%) were off sick and 2 of 14 (14%) changed their role in the same company. CONCLUSIONS: Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome is not frequently suspected and thus its diagnosis and treatment can be delayed for months or years.
Original languageEnglish
Article number82.642
Pages (from-to)419-422
JournalMedicina Clinica
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2005


  • Irritant-induced asthma
  • Occupational asthma


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