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Short Communication


Occupational asthma caused by Ipe(Tabebuia spp) dust


E. Algranti1, E. Medina Coeli Mendonça1, S. Amed Ali1, C. M. Kokron2,V. Raile1,

1the Division of Medicine, FUNDACENTRO, and 2Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy and
Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, LIM-60, University of São Paulo School of Medicine.
São Paulo. Brazil

J Invest Allergol Clin Immunol 2005; Vol. 15(1): 81-83



Background: Ipe is a resistant hardwood that contains naphtoquinones. It is easily found and frequently used in South and Central America. Naphtoquinones are skin sensitizers.

Objective: To describe a case of occupational asthma related to Ipe wood dust.

Methods: The patient was submitted to a clinical evaluation consisting of a respiratory symptom questionnaire, occupational history, serial measurements of lung function by spirometry, skin prick tests, patch tests, specific IgE and specific bronchial provocation tests to Ipe dust.

: Serial lung function measurements showed sustained regression of obstruction following removal from exposure. Skin prick tests, but not patch tests, were positive to Ipe, and a specific bronchial challenge showed a late asthmatic reaction. Specific IgE search was negative.

: Exposure to Ipe wood dust can lead to occupational asthma. The underlying mechanism should be investigated.

Key words: occupational asthma, wood dusts, Ipe wood, Tabebuia spp, specific bronchial provocation tests