eLetters

236 e-Letters

  • Household chemicals and persistent wheeze: Is there a link?
    Andrew N Williams

    Dear Editor,

    Sherriff and colleagues report an apparent association between mothers’ self-reported frequency of use of assorted household ‘chemicals’ during pregnancy and ‘persistent wheeze’ in their offspring. Since their paper suggests this may help explain recent rises in asthma, the robustness of the data and other explanations for the observed statistical association need careful consideration.

    We...

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  • Pulmonary function tests in following up cystic fibrosis
    Philip H. Quanjer

    I read with great interest the paper by de Jong et al. [1]. The authors conclude from a carefully conducted study that scores derived from CT scans are more sensitive in detecting progression of cystic fibrosis in children and adults than pulmonary function tests. I have no difficulty in accepting any such outcome. However, it seems that undue reliance was placed on predicted pulmonary indices, and...

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  • Tannins in dusts of plant origin
    Heikki Savolainen

    Dear Editor,

    The letter is most interesting as it extends and develops the earlier ideas that polyphenols have important biological effects in occupational exposure. It could be added that raw cotton dust contains an average of 1.6 mg tannic acid/g dry weight (1). Similar values as reported have been obtained for oak and other hard wood species (2). The polyphenols can also be used to identify the inhaled wood dust...

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  • Diaphragm Paralysis after Nephrectomy
    Alfredo Chetta

    Dear Editor,

    We read with great interest the case report by Moore et al (1) on the diaphragm weakness of two patients after anatomically distant surgery. We are currently following a patient who had bilateral paralysis of the diaphragm after a nephrectomy for renal cancer. The patient, a 60 year old male, non-smoker, without any concomitant cardiac or lung disease, underwent surgery in August 2004 and immediate...

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  • Is there No Role for Psychology in UK Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs?
    Shalini Gupta

    The review of Pulmonary Rehabilitation in the UK (Thorax, 2001: 56: 827-834) by Dr MDL Morgan begins by noting the lag between the quality of pulmonary rehabilitation services in the USA compared to their virtual absence in the UK. Dr Morgan goes on to mention that psychology is one of the disciplines included in the multiple disciplines that comprise an effective pulmonary rehabilitation program. In fact, most of the le...

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  • RSV infection in prematurely born infants
    Anne Greenough

    RSV infection in prematurely born infants

    We thank Drs Clifford and Deshpande for their comments on our paper [1]. Both are concerned about the cost-effectiveness of Palivizumab. Our paper, however, was not about the cost-effectiveness of Palivizumab but to examine prospectively healthcare utilisation and respiratory morbidity due to RSV infection in prematurely born infants. Importantly, we demonstrated an...

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  • Screening with low dose CT Scan: Is there a radiation risk?
    Rangaprasad L Karadi

    We read with great interest the article by MacRedmond et al (1) on Screening for lung cancer using low dose CT scan and the related editorial by Gleeson which provides a comprehensive summary on the benefits and potential pitfalls of such a screening.

    However, we notice in both articles, another important issue of potential radiation risks associated with a low dose CT screening for lung cancer has not been addr...

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  • Inhaled corticosteroids and mortality in COPD
    Pierre Ernst

    Dear Editor,

    We read with interest the recent paper by Sin and colleagues (1) which, we believe, raises more questions that it answers.

    A major concern is the fact that ascertainment of mortality was incomplete for a significant proportion of patients (973/5086), corresponding to 19% of the total (not the reported 12%), who did withdraw prematurely from the study. This loss to follow up was more likely...

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  • Inhaled corticosteroids and COPD mortality: are we there yet?
    Robert G Stirling

    Dear Editor,

    Inhaled corticosteroids have for some time been seeking a broader indication in COPD. The recent meta-analysis by Sin et al.[1] suggesting protection against all-cause mortality is therefore of some interest. Although not universally confirmed[2,3], this tantalising concept is being prospectively evaluated in a 3 year study of high dose inhaled corticosteroids (Flixotide 500mcg bid, alone or in combina...

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  • RSV infection in prematurely born infants
    Sanjeev Deshpande

    Dear Editor,

    I read with interest the article by Broughton et al, and wish to offer following comments.

    1. The duration of oxygen therapy (in both Table 1 and the text) ranges from 30 to 107 weeks, thus qualifying every baby in the cohort as having BPD. Even if this was in days, it would make every baby oxygen dependent 28 days after birth, c...

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