October 4, 2019

Number of known vaping-related illnesses jumps to over 1,000

By Karl Oestreich

The Guardian
by Amanda Holpuch

In a first-of-its-kind study published this week, Mayo Clinic researchers said the deaths from vaping-related injury could be caused by a mix of “toxic chemical fumes”. In a study published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers said they examined lung biopsies from 17 patients who had vaped and were suspected to have a vaping-related respiratory problems. The images and analysis showed injuries to their lungs resembling toxic chemical burns. Dr Brandon Larsen, a surgical pathologist at Mayo Clinic Arizona and a lead author of the study, said the researchers saw “a severe chemical injury” much different from what doctors see in tobacco or marijuana smokers. Larsen said: “I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.”

The Guardian Newspaper

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Additional coverage:

New York Times, A Young Man Nearly Lost His Life to Vaping
Nature, Scientists chase cause of mysterious vaping illness as death toll rises
USA Today, Vaping-related lung injury cases jump to 1,299; deaths rise to 26
Rolling Stone, There’s Not Just One Vape Crisis — There’s Three
NBC News, 'A direct, toxic chemical injury': What vaping does to the lungs
Live Science, Why Are Healthy People Dying From Vaping?
Inverse, Is it the flu or vaping illness? Why it may be hard to tell the difference
FOX 10 Phoenix, Vaping-related deaths climb to 33 as CDC continues to investigate mysterious outbreak
KTAR Phoenix, Hooked on Vaping: How to prevent teen e-cigarette use
HealthDay, Juul Halts Sale of Fruit, Dessert Flavors of E-Cigarettes

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Context: Research into the pathology of vaping-associated lung injury is in its early stages, but a Mayo Clinic study published in The New England Journal of Medicine finds that lung injuries from vaping most likely are caused by direct toxicity or tissue damage from noxious chemical fumes.

Researchers reviewed lung biopsies from 17 patients, all of whom had vaped and were suspected to have vaping-associated lung injury. The study was the first to examine a group of biopsies from patients with lung injury due to vaping. Researchers found no evidence of tissue injury caused by accumulation of lipids — fatty substances such as mineral oils — which has been suspected as a possible cause of the lung injuries associated with vaping.

"While we can't discount the potential role of lipids, we have not seen anything to suggest this is a problem caused by lipid accumulation in the lungs. Instead, it seems to be some kind of direct chemical injury, similar to what one might see with exposures to toxic chemical fumes, poisonous gases and toxic agents," says Brandon Larsen, M.D., Ph.D., a surgical pathologist at Mayo Clinic Arizona, and a national expert in lung pathology.

You can read and view more here on Mayo Clinic News Network.

Contact: Jim McVeigh

Tags: Dr. Brandon Larsen, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, The Guardian, Uncategorized, Vaping

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