September 3, 1982

Asthma Induced by Nickel

Author Affiliations

Maryvale Samaritan Hospital Phoenix

JAMA. 1982;248(9):1065-1066. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330090037020

To the Editor.—  Block and Yeung (1982;247:1600) reported the case of a metal polisher in whom immediate hypersensitivity (type I reaction) with bronchospasm developed on inhalation of nickel sulfate particles in his work environment. Löffler's syndrome1 and asthma2 have also been observed following occupationally related inhalation of nickel carbonyl and nickel sulfate, respectively. We have seen a case of asthma resulting from internal exposure to nickel.

Report of a Case.—  A 33-year-old woman was hospitalized with a nine-month history of right upper quadrant (RUQ) abdominal discomfort and swelling of her face, lips, and hands, accompanied by stridor and wheezing, but without skin rash or urticaria. Ten months previously, a routine cholecystectomy had been performed. Her symptoms began four weeks after surgery and worsened, despite administration of various antihistamines. She denied allergies, but stated that she could not wear jewelry because it caused swelling and pruritus at contact areas.