Lung radiology and pulmonary function of children chronically exposed to air pollution

Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, Antonieta Mora-Tiscareño, Lynn A. Fordham, Charles J. Chung, Gildardo Valencia-Salazar, Silvia Flores-Gómez, Anna C. Solt, Alberto Gomez-del Campo, Ricardo Jardón-Torres, Carlos Henríquez-Roldán, Milan J. Hazucha, William Reed

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44 Scopus citations


We analyzed the chest radiographs (CXRs) of 249 clinically healthy children, 230 from southwest Mexico City and 19 from Tlaxcala. In contrast to children from Tlaxcala, children from southwest Mexico City were chronically exposed to ozone levels exceeding the U.S. National Ambient Air Quality Standards for an average of 4.7 hr/day and to concentrations of particulate matter (PM) with aerodynamic diameters ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5) above the annual standard. CXRs of Mexico City children demonstrated bilateral hyperinflation (151 of 230) and increased linear markings (121 of 230). Hyperinflation and interstitial markings were significantly more common in Mexico City children (p < 0.0002 and 0.00006 respectively). Mexico City boys had a higher probability of developing interstitial markings with age (p = 0.004), Computed tomography (CT) scans were obtained in 25 selected Mexico City children with abnormal CXRs. Mild bronchial wall thickening was seen in 10 of 25, prominent central airways in 4 of 25, air trapping in 8 of 21, and pulmonary nodules in 2 of 21. Only 7.8% of Mexico City children had abnormal lung function tests based on predicted values. These findings are consistent with bronchiolar, peribronchiolar, and/or alveolar duct inflammation, possibly caused by ozone, PM, and lipopolysaccharide exposure. The epidemiologic implications of these findings are important for children residing in polluted environments, because bronchiolar disease could lead to chronic pulmonary disease later in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1432-1437
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Air pollutants
  • Chest X rays
  • Children
  • High-resolution CT
  • Hyperinflation
  • Mexico
  • Ozone
  • Particulate matter
  • Small-airway disease
  • Spirometry


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