Mustard Gas Effects on Iranian Veterans After 20 Years as Shown on Chest High-resolution Computed Tomography: A Follow-up Study

Seid Kazem Razavi Ratki, Nasim Namiranian, Abdu-Reza Sadrarhami, Ali Ahmadi Dahaj, Mohammad Sobhan Ardakani, Reza Nafisi Moghadam


Introduction: Mustard gas is a known chemical weapon that was used in the 1980-1988 Iran- Iraq War. It causes many health problems, including serious respiratory damage. In this study, we used high-resolution computed tomography to assess the pulmonary complications after 20 years of veterans of the Iran-Iraq War who were exposed to mustard gas.

Materials and Methods: This was a follow-up study conducted on 200 Iranian veterans with a history of exposure to mustard gas at least 20 years previously. High-resolution computed tomography was performed on all veterans and was interpreted by two independent expert radiologists who were blinded to the study. The frequency of high-resolution computed tomography ndings was reported. Data were analyzed with statistical package for the social sciences version 20 software.

Results:One hundred twenty veterans (60%) showed HRCT abnormalities. The most frequent high-resolution computed tomography ndings were diffuse hyper-aeration, 63 (52.5%); interstitial opacity, 50 (41.7%); parenchymal opacity, 26 (21.7%); bronchiectasis, 15 (12.5%); sub-pleural air trapping, 13 (10.8%); and local brosis, 10 (8.3%). Generally, lower lobes were more frequently affected.

Conclusion: This study showed a high frequency of abnormal high-resolution computed tomography ndings in veterans who were exposed to mustard gas, and most abnormalities were irreversible. These ndings included diffuse hyper-aeration, interstitial opacity, parenchymal opacity, bronchiectasis, sub-pleural air trapping, and local brosis.


Mustard Gas, Chemical Weapon, Iran, Veterans

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