Preliminary results of an experimental vaping study showed significant lung injury from e-cigarette (EC) devices with nickel-chromium alloy elements. The findings were consistent with or without the use of nicotine, vitamin E oil or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which were previously thought to contribute to a mortal respiratory problem.
Senior author Robert Kleiner said, “The results were very impressive, we thought it necessary to release early findings early, so that electronic cigarette users could be alerted early, especially as e-cigarette users are at increased risk of COVID-19.” , MD, PhD, Chief Science Officer for HMRI and Professor of Medicine at USC.
The switch to devices took place in September 2019, when the EC was using the device team and went on the market and an option device was offered as an option. The new device was physically compatible with the original exposure system, but the heating element changed from stainless steel (SS) to a chromium alloy (NC).
“Within an hour of the start of the experiment, we saw evidence of severe respiratory distress, including lab inhalation, wheezing, and panting,” Michael Kleinman, PhD, professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the UCI School of Medicine, and UCI Asked for a member of the center. Occupational and environmental health. “After analyzing the lung tissue from the subjects in the study, we saw them as severely compromised and other severe changes such as lung lesions, red blood cell congestion, obliteration of alveolar locations, and in some cases pneumonitis. ”
Current research conducted studies on heart function in a well-established pre-clinical experimental model to study the effects of breathing in e-cigarette vapor. During almost a year, none of the subjects exposed to vapors from stainless steel devices, both with and without additives, contracted respiratory distress and only one showed less than 10% area of lung inflammation. Once the new EC equipment was introduced, affected subjects showed severe respiratory distress, which included breathing, wheezing, and panting in the laboratory. Lung injury occurred without nicotine, THC or vitamin E additives; And may be related to the higher wattage of power settings on e-cigarette devices. These preliminary studies will be followed up with additional future studies to systematically determine the cause of the lung problem.
“While further research is needed, these results indicate that specific equipment and power settings may play an important role in the development of EVALI, as do the additives,” Kloner said. “The harm associated with e-cigarettes and vaping cannot be reduced.”
Vaping has been shown to increase blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction and the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. In commercially available EC heating elements are usually stainless steel, nickel; Chromium or nichrome are made of spiked nickel or titanium.
A condition, dubbed “lung injury associated with the use of an e-cigarette or vaping product” (EVALI) was recognized in the United States in June 2019 and peaked in September 2019. In March 2020, there were 2,800 US cases of EVALI and 68 reported deaths. Patients were typically found in young men and users of e-cigarettes or vaping products whose CT scan revealed lung inflammation and injury. Of note, EVALI may mimic many features of COVID-19 pneumonia.
The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. In addition to Kleinman and Cloner, several researchers participated in the study, including HMRI researchers Jianu Shi, Wangde Dai, Juan Carreno, Jesus Chavez, and Lifu Zhao; And UCI researchers Rebecca Johnson Arechawala, David Harman, Irene Hasin and Amanda Ting.