Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713


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Year 2001 - Volume 27  - Number 4  (July/August)

Original Article

2 - Comparative study of high resolution computer-assisted tomography with chest radiograph in the diagnosis of silicosis incipient cases

Estudo comparativo entre tomografia computadorizada de alta resolução e radiografia de tórax no diagnóstico da silicose em casos incipientes

Ana Paula Scalia Carneiro, Arminda Lucia Siqueira, Eduardo Algranti, Cid Sérgio Ferreira, Jorge Issamu Kavakama, Maria Luiza Bernardes, Thaís Abreu de Castro, René Mendes

J Bras Pneumol.2001;27(4):

Abstract PDF PT Portuguese Text

Introduction: At present, chest radiography (CR) is the main instrument used in the diagnosis of silicosis, following the International Labor Organization (ILO) recommendations. In incipient cases, the interpretation of radiographs is difficult and disagreement may occur, even among experienced readers. Recently, the possibility of evaluating incipient cases by using high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) has been considered. Objective: To compare CR with HRCT results. Patients and methods: An original group of 135 ex-miners were evaluated by CR, according to ILO recommendations, examined by three readers, from November 1997 to December 1999. HRCT was indicated to 68 patients whose median profusion readings was 1/0 or below. HRCT results were examined by two readers and, in cases of disagreement, a third reader was consulted. HRCT results were classified according to micronodule profusion into categories 0 to 3. CR and HRCT results were compared using McNemar test, weighed Kappa coefficient and log-linear models. Results and conclusion: There was good agreement among the methods in category 0, so it was concluded that both methods are similar in excluding the diagnosis of silicosis. However, in category 1 or greater (diagnosis of the disease) a good agreement among the methods was not observed.


Keywords: Silicosis. Thoracic radiography. Tomography X-ray computed. Pneumoconiosis.


3 - Airway inflammation in asthmatic patients after methacholine challenge

Avaliação da inflamação de vias aéreas em asmáticos após o teste de broncoprovocação com metacolina

Fabrício Lino de Matos, João Terra Filho, José Antonio Baddini Martinez, Tatiana Furlan Sala, Elcio Oliveira Vianna

J Bras Pneumol.2001;27(4):171-176

Abstract PDF PT Portuguese Text

Background: The methacholine challenge test is commonly used to evaluate bronchial responsiveness in diagnosis and follow-up of asthmatic patients. Objective: To investigate late effects of methacholine challenge on induced sputum. Methods: Ten non-smoker patients with mild or moderate stable asthma were recruited. At 12:00 p.m., patients were randomly assigned to inhale either methacholine (challenge) or physiologic saline. At 6:00 p.m., sputum induction was performed. On the second visit, one week apart, patients completed their participation in the study by undergoing another inhalation and sputum induction. Results: After methacholine, 8.6 ± 9 g of sputum were expectorated with 8.6 ± 6 million cells, 78 ± 10% were viable, and 6.8 ± 7% eosinophils. These data were not different from results obtained after saline: sputum amount = 7.6 ± 6 g, total cell count = 12.4 ± 12 million, viability = 82 ± 10%, and eosinophils = 6.6 ± 9%. Expiratory flow (PF) peak fall during sputum induction was not different: 21.4 ± 12% after methacholine and 18.4 ± 15% after saline. The PF fall observed during induction correlated with the amount of expectorated sputum (p = 0.018) and eosinophil relative number (p = 0.003). No other significant correlation between lung function measurements and sputum characteristics was found. Conclusion: A methacholine challenge carried out six hours before sputum induction does not significantly alter the cellular constituents or amount of sputum.


Keywords: Asthma. Methacholine chloride. Bronchial provocation tests.


4 - Predictive factors for pleural drainage in children with parapneumonic pleural effusion

Fatores preditivos para drenagem de derrames pleurais parapneumônicos em crianças

Helena Teresinha Mocelin, Gilberto Bueno Fischer

J Bras Pneumol.2001;27(4):177-184

Abstract PDF PT Portuguese Text

Objective: To evaluate Light's criteria for drainage in children with parapneumonic pleural effusion. Methods: Prospective cross-sectional study on 85 children who were admitted to Hospital da Criança Santo Antônio, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, presenting pneumonia with pleural effusion confirmed by chest X-ray and/or chest ultrasonography. The exclusion criteria were: previous drainage, pleural effusions associated with other disorders. The pH analysis was performed with a blood gas analyzer. Glucose and LDH were analyzed by spectrophotometry. The decision to perform pleural drainage was made by the attending physician without the participation of the researchers. Results: Pleural fluid in parapneumonic effusion with pH < 7.2 and glucose < 40 mg/dl presented higher drainage rate than LDH > 1,000 UI/l. The pH and glucose had high specificity (89% and 88%) and above the LDH (65%). The same results were observed when non-purulent fluids were analyzed (pH < 7.2 94%, glucose 88%, LDH 68%). In patients with pH < 7.2 LDH > 1,000 UI/l and glucose < 40 mg/dl predominated fluid with cloudy or purulent aspect. In more than 21% of patients who have indication of drainage by the classic criteria, was found limpid aspect. Conclusions: These data indicate that biochemical test support indication of drainage in children presenting with parapneumonic pleural effusion in non-purulent fluid. The specificity for drainage was 89% for pH and 88% for glucose and around 65% for LDH.


Keywords: Pleural effusion. Pleural empyema. Postural drainage.


5 - Poor perception of airflow limitation in patients with moderate to severe asthma

Má percepção da limitação aos fluxos aéreos em pacientes com asma moderada a grave

Adelmir Souza-Machado, Manuela N. Cavalcanti, Álvaro A. Cruz

J Bras Pneumol.2001;27(4):185-192

Abstract Portuguese Text

Background: This study evaluated the perception of airway obstruction in moderate to severely asthmatic outpatients and the efficiency of chest auscultation in identifying airflow limitation. Methods: 33 subjects were evaluated at seven weekly visits by using symptoms scores determined by visual analogue scales (VAS, 0-100 mm), a clinical index of bronchial hyperreactivity (1-10), the clinical classification of asthma severity (GINA, 1-4) and a thoracic auscultation score (TAS, 0-5), spirometry and peak expiratory flow (PEF), which were correlated by the coefficient of Spearman. Patients were classified as perceivers (-1 £ r < 0) or nonperceivers (0 £ r £ 1) by correlations between VAS for dyspnoea and FEV1. A correlation between auscultation and bronchial obstruction was considered accurate when a r £ -0.5 (TAS vs. FEV1) was found. Results: Seventeen asthmatic patients (51.5%) did not accurately perceive the degree of their airways obstruction (nonperceivers). No clinical characteristics distinguished the groups. Only 39.4% of the individual correlations between TAS and FEV1 indicated accurate discrimination by auscultation. Severe asthma was not associated with inaccurate auscultation nor with malperception in this study. Conclusions: A significant proportion of this sample of asthmatic patients did not accurately perceive their own airway obstruction. Moreover, chest examination was shown to be an unsuitable discriminator of airflow limitation in moderate to severe stable asthmatics in an outpatient clinic.


Keywords: Asthma. Airway obstruction. Auscultation. Lung obstructive diseases.


6 - Hospital admissions caused by respiratory diseases in a tertiary internal medicine service in Northeastern Rio Grande do Sul State

Doenças respiratórias como causa de internações hospitalares de pacientes do Sistema Único de Saúde num serviço terciário de clínica médica na região nordeste do Rio Grande do Sul

Dagoberto Vanoni de Godoy, Crischiman Dal Zotto, Jamila Bellicanta, Rui Fernando Weschenfelder, Samira Barrentin Nacif

J Bras Pneumol.2001;27(4):193-198

Abstract Portuguese Text

Objective: Epidemiologic survey of respiratory diseases that cause hospital admissions at the Internal Medicine Service, Hospital Geral de Caxias do Sul (SCM-HG), a tertiary university hospital in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil. Patients and methods: Retrospective study conducted at SCM-HG between November 1998 and November 1999. Data were obtained from medical records and included: a) major admission cause; b) associated diseases; c) sazonal variability; d) hospitalization length; e) mortality. Results: There were 1,200 admissions at SCM-HG, 228 (19%) caused by a respiratory disease. COPD (41.3%), pneumonias (29.8%) and bronchial asthma (9.6%) were the most prevalent. Fifty subjects (21.9%) presented comorbidity: cardiac failure (7.7%), systemic arterial hypertension (6.4%) and diabetes mellitus (4.4%). Pneumonias predominated between September and November, bronchial asthma frequency raised in October and November, and COPD prevailed from May to November. The admissions had an average duration of 10.4 ± 10 days. Twenty-six (11.4%) patients died. Conclusions: 1) Respiratory diseases were responsible for approximately 1/5 of the admissions. 2) COPD patients represented the biggest quota of admissions. 3) Patients with respiratory diseases stayed for a long time as compared with the others hospitalized patients (10.4 versus 7.7 days). 4) COPD, pneumonias and bronchial asthma behaved as expected regarding sazonal variability.


Keywords: Lung diseases. Asthma. Pneumonia. Epidemiology. University hospitals. Patient admission.


Review Article

7 - Asbestos, asbestosis and cancer: diagnostic criteria

Asbesto, asbestose e câncer: critérios diagnósticos

Vera Luiza Capelozzi

J Bras Pneumol.2001;27(4):206-218

Abstract PDF PT Portuguese Text

Asbestos-induced diseases are still major health problems, as a remarkably large number of workers have been exposed to asbestos over the past 50 years. Personal injury lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers number hundreds of thousands, and new cases are still being filed. Asbestosis is a complex issue, and although the broad outlines of asbestos-related diseases are well set, many important areas, especially pathology, are poorly understood. In Brazil, since 1940, asbestos has been commercially explored, producing around 200,000 tons/year, exposing about 10,000 workers in the mining activity, and an unknown number of workers in asbestos-cement industry. A study, with scientific appropriate investigation, with the purpose to evaluate the effects of asbestos exposure over the health of the mine workers in this country, was done by interinstitution researchers, and untitled "Morbidity and mortality among workers exposed to asbestos in mining activities - 1940/1996". With the experience achieved in the course of this study, the objective of this report is to make an overview of asbestos-related diseases, mainly with respect to difficulties in establishing the histopathologic diagnosis.


Keywords: Asbestosis. Pathology. Neoplasms. Diagnosis.


Case Report

8 - Severe pneumonia due to Chlamydia psittaci

Pneumonia grave por "Chlamydia psittaci"

Cristiane Moschioni, Henrique Pereira Faria, Marco Antônio Soares Reis, Estevão Urbano Silva

J Bras Pneumol.2001;27(4):219-222

Abstract PDF PT Portuguese Text

Psittacosis, also known as ornithosis, is a disease caused by Chlamydia psittaci. The most common clinical presentation is insidious onset, mild symptoms resembling a nonspecific viral illness and preference for the lungs. It is rarely a systemic and fatal disease. It is described a rare case of pneumonia due to Chlamydia psittaci that progressively developed into respiratory failure, requiring mechanical ventilation. It is very important to consider psittacosis in cases of atypical pneumonia whose evolution is unsatisfactory, with no response to antimicrobial therapy and epidemiology is positive for exposure to birds. Prompt recognition is vital as the response to appropriate treatment is excellent. Delayed diagnosis may lead to a severe course and fatal outcome.


Keywords: Mycoplasma pneumonia. Ornithosis.


9 - Sternal and pectoral musculature hydatidosis

Hidatidose do esterno e musculatura peitoral


J Bras Pneumol.2001;27(4):223-226

Abstract PDF PT Portuguese Text

Hydatidosis is a cyclezoonotic infection caused by taenia Echinococcus granulosus, whose larval form accidentally affects men by forming hydatic cysts preferably in the lungs and liver. Osseous hydatidosis is a rare event characterized by slow growth and few symptoms. It is reported on a 36-year-old man who had presented nodes in the anterior thorax for nine years. Imaging diagnostic examinations revealed thick, loculated, expansive masses in the pectoral muscles and sternal lytic lesions. The diagnosis of hydatidosis was established by exploratory surgery. The patient showed good clinical-surgical evolution and was discharged receiving albendazole, 2,400 mg/day, for 28 days.


Keywords: Diagnostic techniques and procedures. Pulmonary echinococcosis. Surgery.


Letters to the Editor

10 - Hérnia diafragmática traumática transpericárdica (tréplica)

Antônio Sebastião Porto

J Bras Pneumol.2001;27(4):229-



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