Chronic beryllium disease as a re-emerging occupational disorder possibly misdiagnosed as sarcoidosis : a Swiss study project


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
Publication sub-type
Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Chronic beryllium disease as a re-emerging occupational disorder possibly misdiagnosed as sarcoidosis : a Swiss study project
Title of the conference
Joint Annual Meeting of the Swiss Respiratory Society, Swiss Society of Occupational Medicine, Swiss Paediatric Respiratory Society, Swiss Society for Thoracic Surgery, Davos (Switzerland), April 16/17, 2009
Lazor Romain, Bieler Gilles, Berode Michèle, Aubert Vincent, Chouanière Dominique, Brutsche Martin, Danuser Brigitta
Publication state
Issued date
Swiss Medical Weekly
Background: Beryllium (Be) is increasingly used worldwide for numerous industrial applications. Occupational exposure to Be may lead to Be sensitization (BeS), a CD4-mediated immune response. BeS may progress to chronic beryllium disease (CBD), a granulomatous lung disorder closely resembling sarcoidosis. The recognition of CBD requires detection of Be exposure at occupational history, and detection of BeS on blood or BAL lymphocytes. Since methods for CBD detection are not routinely available in Switzerland, we hypothesized that CBD cases are not recognized but misdiagnosis as sarcoidosis.
Objective: To present an ongoing Swiss study screening patients with sarcoidosis in search of Be exposure, BeS, and CBD.
Methods: Both a prospective and a retrospective cohort are being studied. In the prospective cohort, the main steps include: 1) recruitment of 100 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed pulmonary sarcoidosis at 2 centers (Lausanne, Bern). 2) screening for possible occupational Be exposure by self-administered patient questionnaire. 3) standardized detailed occupational interview and clinical visit by occupational health specialist. If step 3 is positive, then 4) blood and BAL sampling for detection of BeS by specifically developed Elispot assay and CFSE flow cytometry, with subsequent comparison to the classical Be lymphocyte proliferation test. If step 4 is positive, then 5) review of medical records and diagnostic revision from sarcoidosis to CBD. 6) appropriate measures for exposure cessation and case reporting to SUVA as occupational disease. The retrospective cohort will include 400 patients with previously diagnosed pulmonary sarcoidosis, either treated or untreated, recruited through the SIOLD Registries. Steps 2 to 5 will be peformed as above, except for a) end of study after step 2 if screening questionnaire does not reveal Be exposure, and b) step 4 done on blood sample only (BAL not needed). Current status: Self-administered screening questionnaire and tools for standardized occupational interview have been developed. BeS testing has been implemented and undergoes validation. Inclusions in the prospective phase have started at both study sites. The retrospective phase is in preparation.
Conclusion: The current study status allows to conclude to technical feasibility of the project. The prospective phase if this study is funded by the SUVA. The SIOLD Registries are supported by the Swiss Pulmonary League.
Beryllium , Workplace , Occupational Exposure , Occupational Diseases , Switzerland
Create date
27/01/2010 12:20
Last modification date
20/08/2019 12:31
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