Journal of Occupational Health
Online ISSN : 1348-9585
Print ISSN : 1341-9145
ISSN-L : 1341-9145
Generalized Skin Reactions in Relation to Trichloroethylene Exposure: A Review from the Viewpoint of Drug-Metabolizing Enzymes
Tamie NakajimaOsamu YamanoshitaMichihiro KamijimaReiko KishiGaku Ichihara
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2003 Volume 45 Issue 1 Pages 8-14


The literature was reviewed to study cases of intoxication with systemic dermatitis associated with exposure to trichloroethylene. The average age of patients in the reports reviewed to date was twenty-nine; these diseases were found in relatively young persons and no difference was found according to gender. Many cases occurred within one month after the onset of exposure to trichloroethylene, and were accompanied by hepatitis, jaundice, hepatomegaly or hepatosplenomegaly. Most of the patients had no history of drug abuse or herpes infection. The level of exposure to trichloroethylene was not recorded in many cases, but ranged from less than 9 ppm to 800 ppm. In the severest cases, the lesions involved mucous membranes such as the conjunctiva and oral cavity, and the patients were diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, but the etiology of the disease after trichloroethylene exposure remains unclear. Since several drugs have also been shown to cause systemic dermatitis with hepatitis, susceptibility factors are discussed. Many patients were found to have the slow acetylator genotype of N-acetyltransferase (NAT) 2, suggesting that the NAT2 genotype is a susceptibility factor. This hypothesis may also be applicable to trichloroethylene because NAT is involved in the glutathione-mediated metabolism.

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2003 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health
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