Association between acute inflammatory cells in lavage fluid and bronchial metaplasia

W. W. Merrill, M. R. Cullen, D. Carter, M. E. Marenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In epidemiologic studies, airway disease and parenchymal injury are known morbid outcomes of occupational exposure to asbestos. However, the relationship of inflammatory events considered to be responsible for parenchymal injury to the subsequent development of airway injury is unknown. To assess this we performed bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and airway biopsies on a population of subjects with exposure to asbestos in the workplace. As an index of airway injury, we employed histologic metaplasia seen in mucosal biopsy specimens. Lung BAL fluid was analyzed for two potentially relevant protein markers and for inflammatory cells recovered from the lower respiratory tract. We related metaplasia to demographic features of this study population (eg, smoking history and asbestos exposure data) and also to the protein and cellular markers recovered by BAL. We studied 50 workers and detected keratinizing metaplasia in 15 and varying lesser abnormalities in the other 28. Cigarette smoking was not associated with the presence of metaplasia (p

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-693
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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