What is known about EVALI, a life-threatening lung injury associated with e-cigarette use?

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A first case of EVALI, lung injury associated with e-cigarette use or vaping, was detected in Russia. The ailment was diagnosed in a 17-year-old young man, admitted this June to a Moscow hospital with severe respiratory failure, reported recently the Department of Health of the Russian capital.

As explained by the doctors, two weeks before hospitalization, the patient – who for the past month and a half I had used vaping devices– exhibited increasing dyspnea and cough, as well as fever, vomiting and abdominal pain, and also suffered severe weight loss. “The examinations carried out and a CT scan of the chest organs revealed signs of acute bronchiolitis, that is, inflammation in the bronchioles“, detailed Dr. Pavel Berezhanski, head of the Department of Pulmonology at Morózovski Children’s Hospital.

After drug therapy, which included the administration of systemic anti-inflammatory drugs, the adolescent recovered and was discharged, although he is still subject to outpatient treatment under the supervision of the hospital’s pulmonologists.

What condition is that?

EVALI is a serious disease believed to be caused by the use of electronic cigarettes. Have fatal outcome in 2.4% of casessaid Dmitri Ovsiánnikov, head of the Department of Pediatrics at the Russian University of Peoples’ Friendship.

Substances contained in vaping devices – such as tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive substance derived from marijuana, approved for medical use in some countries, and vitamin E acetate – damage the surface membrane of the bronchioles and alveoli. This causes a part of the pulmonary system to be disconnected from the act of breathing: gas exchange is disturbed in much of the lungs and respiratory failure occurs (feeling short of breath, shortness of breath, suffocation).

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The ailment was described for the first time in 2019, in the United States, after there was an increase in the incidence of lung diseases among vapers. By February 18, 2020, the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had received notifications of a total of 2,807 cases, with 68 fatal outcomes.

How does the illness emerge?

The clinical picture of EVALI can vary greatly between patients. It normally manifests as pneumonia, acute bronchiolitis (inflammation in the bronchioles) or pneumonitis (inflammation of the wall of the alveoli). All of these options have in common their non-infectious nature, which is why antibiotics do not help eliminate inflammation.

Between the symptom The most common include shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, body aches, fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Patients also often have chest and abdominal pain and chills, and evidence of weight loss.

As the precise cause of the disease is still unknown, the diagnosis of EVALI is made ruling out other possible pathologies– is based on symptoms, possible recent e-cigarette use, abnormalities found on lung scans, and the absence of evidence of infection.

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