Management of sulfur mustard-induced chronic pruritus: a review of clinical trials
ABSTRACT Skin is among the most heavily damaged organs upon sulfur mustard (SM) exposure. Chronic complications due to SM-induced dermatotoxicity are quite frequent among intoxicated patients. Nevertheless, the exact pathophysiology of SM-induced chronic cutaneous complications has not been well clarified yet. The present review highlights clinically important findings on the management of SM-induced chronic skin complications with a particular focus on pruritus as the most prevalent symptom that has a significant impact on patients' quality of life. Some methodological pitfalls that implicate the validity of the trials have also been identified.
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Pulmonary problems are among the most common chronic complications of sulfur mustard (SM) intoxication and adversely affect patients' quality-of-life. The present trial investigated the impact of immunotherapy with interferon (IFN)-γ on quality-of-life, respiratory symptoms, and circulating immunologic and oxidative parameters in patients suffering from chronic SM-induced complications. Patients (n = 15) were administered IFNγ (100 μg) every other day for a period of 6 months. Assessment of quality-of-life [using St. George respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and COPD Assessment Test (CAT) indices], the severity and frequency of respiratory symptoms, and serum levels of immunologic [including interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IFNγ, calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP), matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-9, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α], oxidative stress [malondialdehyde (MDA) as well as total and reduced glutathione, and catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity], and fibrogenic [transforming growth factor (TGF)-β] parameters were performed at baseline and at trial end. The results indicated that IFNγ therapy is associated with improvements in SGRQ (p < 0.001) and CAT (p < 0.001) scores, decreased severity of cough (p = 0.001), dyspnea (p < 0.001), and morning dyspnea (p < 0.001), reduced frequency of sputum production (p < 0.001) and hemoptysis (p < 0.001), and elevated FEV1 (p = 0.065). Serum levels of IL-4 (p < 0.001), IL-6 (p < 0.001), IL-10 (p < 0.001), CGRP (p < 0.001), MMP-9 (p = 0.001), TNFα (p < 0.001), TGFβ (p < 0.001) and MDA (p = 0.001) were decreased while those of IL-2 (p < 0.001), IFNγ (p < 0.001), and both total (p = 0.005) and reduced glutathione (p = 0.061) increased by the end of the trial. It was concluded that IFNγ has favorable effects on the quality-of-life and alleviates respiratory symptoms in patients suffering from chronic SM-induced pulmonary complications. A modulation of cytokines and oxidative stress appears responsible for the clinical efficacy of IFNγ.Journal of Immunotoxicology 06/2013; 11(1). DOI:10.3109/1547691X.2013.797525 · 1.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sulfur mustard (2,2'-dichlorodiethyl sulfide; SM) is a potent vesicating chemical warfare agent that poses a continuing threat to both military and civilian populations. Significant SM injuries can take several months to heal, necessitate lengthy hospitalizations, and result in long-term complications affecting the skin, eyes, and lungs. This report summarizes initial and ongoing (chronic) clinical findings from SM casualties from the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), with an emphasis on cutaneous injury. In addition, we describe the cutaneous manifestations and treatment of several men recently and accidentally exposed to SM in the United States. Common, chronic cutaneous problems being reported in the Iranian casualties include pruritis (the primary complaint), burning, pain, redness, desquamation, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, erythematous papular rash, xerosis, multiple cherry angiomas, atrophy, dermal scarring, hypertrophy, and sensitivity to mechanical injury with recurrent blistering and ulceration. Chronic ocular problems include keratitis, photophobia, persistent tearing, sensation of foreign body, corneal thinning and ulceration, vasculitis of the cornea and conjunctiva, and limbal stem cell deficiency. Chronic pulmonary problems include decreases in lung function, bronchitis with hyper-reactive airways, bronchiolitis, bronchiectasis, stenosis of the trachea and other large airways, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, decreased total lung capacity, and increased incidences of lung cancer, pulmonary infections, and tuberculosis. There are currently no standardized or optimized methods of casualty management; current treatment strategy consists of symptomatic management and is designed to relieve symptoms, prevent infections, and promote healing. New strategies are needed to provide for optimal and rapid healing, with the goals of (a) returning damaged tissue to optimal appearance and normal function in the shortest period of time, and (b) ameliorating chronic effects. Further experimental research and clinical trials will be needed to prevent or mitigate the acute clinical effects of SM exposure and to reduce or eliminate the long-term manifestations.Chemico-biological interactions 06/2013; 206(3). DOI:10.1016/j.cbi.2013.06.013 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: Macrophages are known to have key functions in almost every stage of wound healing and there is evidence for their beneficial effects in treating decubital ulcers and deep sternal wound infections in human. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of a treatment with activated macrophages on ameliorating acute and long-term sulfur mustard (SM) induced skin injuries in the hairless guinea pig (HGP) model. Methods: HGP were exposed to SM vapor and treated with either a single or multiple intra-dermal injections of human activated macrophages in suspension (hAMS) into the wound bed. Clinical and histological evaluations were conducted up to 4 weeks post-exposure. Results: A single treatment with hAMS early after exposure (15 min and 6 h) resulted in a reduction in the number of damaged cells and vesications in the epidermis at 24 h. A substantial increase in cellular infiltration, mostly polymorphonuclears, was taking place in the hAMS-treated animals starting as early as 1 h after exposure. This flow of inflammatory cells continued, in the treated group, for at least 4 weeks, long after the injected macrophages were not detected. Repeated injections of hAMS (15 min, 48 h and 7 d post-exposure) decreased significantly the area of the wounds and improved the integrity of the barrier function as expressed by measuring trans-epidermal water loss up to 10 d. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the role of macrophages in wound healing is complex; their efficacy may depend on the timing of administration. Further investigation is required to determine whether they are required during the early phase of wound development and/or during the late phase of scar formation and remodeling.Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology 03/2014; 33(4). DOI:10.3109/15569527.2013.877023 · 0.92 Impact Factor