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CT helps find cause of puzzling cough in WTC rescue workers

xtent of the obstruction. The term "WTC cough" was coined to describe ailments that could not be clearly characterized in this group, but the addition of end-expiratory CT revealed abnormalities beyond the mild changes that can be seen in smokers and the elderly.

Although thought to be benign, air trapping is symptomatic causing shortness of breath, dry cough or wheezing and is treated as a variant of asthma, with inhaled steroids and bronchodilators.

"We remain attentive to the possibility of other adverse health effects that still may occur," said co-author Rafael de la Hoz, M.D. "We have seen evidence of improvement in some patients, but certainly not in all. We are hoping to secure enough funding to systematically continue the characterization and treatment of these effects."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 10,000 Fire Department of New York personnel and 30,000 other workers and volunteers were exposed to environmental stress, toxins and other physical hazards during rescue and recovery efforts.

Co-authors of the paper being presented by Dr. Mendelson are Dr. de la Hoz, Mark Roggeveen, M.D., Stephen Levin, M.D., and Robin Herbert, M.D.


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Contact: Doug Dusik
ddusik@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
30-Nov-2004


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