Historical perspective on effects and treatment of sulfur mustard injuries

Published on Dec 5, 2013in Chemico-Biological Interactions5.194
· DOI :10.1016/J.CBI.2013.06.013
John S. Graham18
Estimated H-index: 18
(DA: United States Department of the Army),
Bruce A. Schoneboom3
Estimated H-index: 3
(DA: United States Department of the Army)
Sources
Abstract
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.
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Background: Sulfur mustard (SM) is an alkylating agent that induces short and long term toxicity on various organs. The aim of this study was to assess the long-term psychological symptoms among samples of exposed to sulfur mustard gas compared with unexposed civilians 20 years after exposure. Methods: This historical cohort study was conducted on 495 civilians of Sardasht and Rabat in two age matched groups, including 367 sulfur mustard exposed participants from Sardasht and 128 unexposed subje...
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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 s...
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Background: Iraq used chemical weapons against thousands of Iranian militaries and civilians. This study aimed to compare the chronic cutaneous side effects of exposure to sulfur mustard (SM) with nerve agents (NA).Methods: The study enrolled 154 SM exposed cases and 175 (NA) exposed cases. Presence of any late cutaneous manifestations was evaluated by a dermatologist via prior history of acute cutaneous complications extracted from medical achieves.Results: only 18.1% mustard exposed group was ...
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