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August 24, 1984

Contact Urticaria and Airway Obstruction From Carbonless Copy Paper

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Divisions of Dermatology (Dr Marks), Internal Medicine (Dr Trautlein), and Pulmonary Medicine (Dr Zwillich), and Department of Pathology (Dr Demers), The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey.

JAMA. 1984;252(8):1038-1040. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350080040024

A 27-year-old woman experienced pruritus, eye and throat irritation, hoarseness, shortness of breath, and fatigue within half an hour of exposure to carbonless copy paper. On two separate occasions, she was purposely challenged in a controlled-blinded fashion with portions of the carbonless copy paper. This resulted on both occasions in contact urticaria of the hand that held the paper and changes in pulmonary function flow-volume loops characteristic of upper airway obstruction. To determine if alterations in prostaglandin (PG) metabolism might explain these findings, plasma PGF and thromboxane B2 (both capable of causing these symptoms) were measured before and during the second exposure period. Both PGF and thromboxane B2 increased substantially. We conclude that the cutaneous and respiratory symptoms induced by carbonless copy paper were probably related to PG release.

(JAMA 1984;252:1038-1040)