American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for September (second issue)

accumulation of mucus or cellular debris present in their lower airways. Twenty-seven of the dogs (46 percent) were classified as moderately or severely affected. The authors said that sled dogs can sustain speeds of up to 15 miles per hour and endurance dogs can cover 120 miles per day. Racing sled dogs can expend nearly four times more weight-specific energy than do cyclists competing in the Tour de France. This process places a substantial thermal load on an animal incapable of sweating. Consequently, the dogs must rely on respiratory heat exchange to release approximately 60 percent of their heat excess, while at the same time maintaining adequate ventilation in the tiny air sacs of the lungs in order to support strenuous aerobic exercise. The authors believe that their observations provide additional support for the contention that repeated, deep, rapid breathing with cold air can injure peripheral airways. Consequently, the airway disease identified in this population of racing sled dogs makes them potentially a very useful model for "ski asthma."


A 38-year-old New York City fireman, working 16-hour days looking for survivors or bodies at "ground zero" of the World Trade Center disaster, suffered a rare case of acute eosinophilic pneumonia caused by what his doctors believe was exceptionally high dust exposure. The fire- fighter's doctors reversed the course of this rare disease, which is characterized by noninfectious respiratory failure, through the use of oxygen and corticosteroid drugs. His computed tomography scan showed that he suffered from patchy ground glass density, thickened bronchial walls, and abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pleurathe delicate membrane covering the lung and the interior wall of the chest. Analysis of lung fluid identified fly ash, degraded glass, and asbestos fibers. In an editorial in the same issue, an expe

Contact: Cathy Carlomagno
American Thoracic Society

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