ORIGINAL PAPER
Characteristics of a new respiratory syndrome associated with the use of a humidifier disinfectant: humidifier disinfectant-related respiratory syndrome (HDRS)
 
More details
Hide details
1
Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, South Korea (Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine)
2
National Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea (Department of Internal Medicine)
3
College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, South Korea (Department of Preventive Medicine)
4
Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, South Korea (Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine)
5
Sungkyungkwan University, Seoul, South Korea (Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, School of Medicine, Total Health Care Center)
6
University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, South Korea (Ulsan University Hospital, Department of Radiology)
7
University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, South Korea (Ulsan University Hospital, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Yangho Kim   

University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 290-3 Cheonha-dong, Dong-gu, 44033 Ulsan, South Korea
Online publication date: 2020-10-14
 
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2020;33(6):829–839
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to characterize a new respiratory syndrome associated with exposure to a humidifier disinfectant (HD) in South Korea that is distinct from the well-known HD-related lung injury (HDLI). The authors identified this condition in 24 study subjects who were family members of patients with definite or probable HDLI (referred to as index cases), and were exposed to HD in the same room as the index cases. Material and Methods: The authors reviewed medical records of 236 family members in 110 families who were exposed to HD in the same rooms and residences as the index cases. Results: They identified 24 family members who were exposed to HD in the same rooms and residences as the index cases, and who developed respiratory disorders that were distinct from HDLI. The clinical signs and symptoms of these individuals were in the upper respiratory tract, such as allergic rhinitis and croup, or in the lower respiratory tract, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The diffusing capacity of the lung fordetermicarbon monoxide was reduced in 9 of 12 children (data not available for 1 child), and in 4 of 5 adults (data not available for 6 adults). The percent forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity ratios were within the normal ranges in most patients. The computed tomography findings, which mostly indicated non-specific inflammation, were inconsistent with the radiological diagnostic criteria for HDLI, but were abnormal in 8 of 11 adults, and in 2 of 13 children. Conclusions: The authors propose a new condition, i.e., HD-related respiratory syndrome (HDRS), which is characterized by mild to moderate or atypical respiratory symptoms and signs, and is related to HD exposure, but is distinct from HDLI. The recognition of HDRS may provide a basis for understanding the natural history of HD-related respiratory problems, and for capturing the whole spectrum of HD-related clinical manifestations in the respiratory tract. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2020;33(6):829–39
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087