Occupational exposure to toluene diisocyanate and neutrophilic bronchitis without asthma

Gianni Pala, Patrizia Pignatti, Gianna Moscato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context. Isocyanates represent a leading cause of occupational asthma, and sputum neutrophilia or eosinophilia has been described in subjects with isocyanate-induced occupational asthma after exposure to these chemicals. One case of non-asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis due to methylene diphenil isocyanates has been reported, but a similar condition in the instance of neutrophilic bronchial inflammation has never been described. Case details. We report a 34-year-old woman, who, 18 months after beginning work in a plastic industry, reported the onset of dry cough at work. Spirometry was normal, reversibility and methacholine challenge tests were negative. A specific inhalation challenge with toluene diisocyanate elicited dry cough without significant changes in respiratory function. Sputum induction showed a post-challenge neutrophil increase. Discussion. The results of our case suggest that the occurrence of a neutrophilic bronchial inflammation without the functional characteristics of occupational asthma as a consequence of exposure to toluene diisocyanate may also be considered, suggesting a diagnosis of occupational non-asthmatic neutrophilic bronchitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-507
Number of pages2
JournalClinical Toxicology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Eosinophilic bronchitis
  • Isocyanate
  • Lung
  • Occupational asthma
  • Occupational respiratory disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'Occupational exposure to toluene diisocyanate and neutrophilic bronchitis without asthma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this