Diffusing capacity in acute untreated tropical eosinophilia.

Vijayan, V.K.; Kuppu Rao, K.V.; Sankaran, K.; Venkatesan, P.; Prabhakar, R.

Indian Journal of Chest Diseases and Allied Sciences; 1988; 30; 71-77.

Single breath carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (TLCO) measurements were made in 50 acute untreated tropical eosinophilia (TE) patients. Forty four (88%) patients had a low diffusing capacity (<85% predicted) which was moderately severe (40-70% predicted) in 22 (44%) patients. Diffusion per litre of alveolar volume (KCO) was reduced (<85% predicted) in 28 (56%) patients. The effective alveolar volume (VA) was reduced (<85% predicted) in 30 (60%) patients and there was highly significant positive correlation between VA and TLCO (r="0.847," p <0.001). The reduction in TLCO, therefore, in our patients may be due to a combination of reduction in the area of membrane available for diffusion and to the involvement of pulmonary capillaries, as evidenced by low VA and KCO. The reduction in TLCO in acute TE patients may be due to acute inflammatory changes produced in the lung parenchyma by eosinophils. However, there was no correlation between peripheral blood eosinophils and diffusing capacity. Further studies are required to clarify whether locally accumulated eosinophils in the lung have any relationship with diffusing capacity.


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