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Hepatic ultrasonic changes in workers exposed to perchloroethylene.
Brodkin CA; Daniell W; Checkoway H; Echeverria D; Johnson J; Wang K; Sohaey R; Green D; Redlich C; Gretch D; Rosenstock L
Occup Environ Med 1995 Oct; 52(10):679-685
A study of subclinical hepatotoxicity, as indicated by ultrasonography, in workers exposed to perchloroethylene (127184) was conducted to determine if subclinical liver toxicity was linked with perchloroethylene exposures commonly experienced in the workplace. The cohort included 29 dry cleaning workers who worked with perchloroethylene selected from among dry cleaning and laundry shops in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. The comparisons were 29 laundry workers from shops in the same area who were not exposed to perchloroethylene. Personal air monitoring for perchloroethylene was performed on 19 dry cleaning workers. Blood samples were collected and assayed for serum aminotransferases, gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase (GGT), alkaline-phosphatase, total and direct bilirubin, as well as hepatitis-B surface antigen and hepatitis-C virus antibodies. Ultrasonographic examinations of the hepatic parenchyma of the subjects' livers were performed at the times the blood samples were collected. Eight hour time weighted average personal perchloroethylene exposures varied from 0.4 to 83 parts per million (ppm), mean 15.8ppm. Three laundry workers and two dry cleaning operators had active hepatitis. The mean values of the aminotransferases and GGT tended to be higher in the dry cleaning workers than in the controls; however, none of the differences were statistically significant and none of the increases were greater than 1.5 times the control value. Diffuse mild to moderate changes in the hepatic parenchyma were detected in 67% of the dry cleaning workers and 39% of the ten laundry workers. The inter group difference was statistically significant. In the dry cleaning workers, the ultrasonic changes were found in all workers (five) with perchloroethylene exposures above 15ppm. The authors conclude that hepatic parenchymal changes are detected more frequently in perchloroethylene exposed workers than in nonsolvent exposed workers. These effects are underestimated by assays of serum hepatic transaminase activity.
NIOSH-Author; Chlorinated-hydrocarbons; Dry-cleaning-solvents; Occupational-exposure; Liver-disorders; Liver-enzymes; Biochemical-indicators; Blood-serum; Liver-function; Epidemiology; Toxic-effects; Author Keywords: hepatotoxicity; ultrasonic imaging; aminotransferases; perchloroethylene
Issue of Publication
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
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Page last reviewed: October 9, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division