• cyanoacrylate;
  • eosinophils;
  • induced sputum;
  • occupational asthma

Background: Exposure to acrylates may give rise to rhinitis and asthma in both industrial and domestic environments. The mechanisms underlying these respiratory conditions caused by acrylates remain largely unknown.

Methods: We studied two assembly operators exposed to cyanoacrylate glue who developed rhinitis and asthma symptoms. The causal relationship of these symptoms to cyanoacrylate glue exposure was investigated by serial peak expiratory flow (PEF) monitoring at work and off work. Moreover, inhalation testing was performed by asking the patients to mimic exposure at work with the cyanoacrylate glue in a 7-m3 challenge chamber.

Results: Serial PEF monitoring at work and away from work was consistent with occupational asthma in both patients. The methacholine inhalation test was negative in patient 1 (off work) and showed bronchial hyperresponsiveness in patient 2. After 20-min exposure to cyanoacrylate, the patients had late and progressive asthmatic reactions, respectively, and the methacholine test became positive in patient 1. Induced-sputum samples obtained 3 and 24 h after the cyanoacrylate challenge showed a marked increase in sputum eosinophils.

Conclusions: Exposure to cyanoacrylate in these patients provoked not only variable airflow limitation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness, but also pronounced eosinophilia in sputum.