Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2008;34(2):133-141    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1224

Salivary endothelin and vascular disorders in vibration-exposed workers

by Bovenzi M, D’Agostin F, Rui F, Ambrosi L, Zefferino R

Objectives This study investigated the relation between salivary endothelin, vibration exposure, and vascular disorders in a group of forestry workers.

Methods Altogether 54 forestry workers and 52 controls underwent a medical examination and a cold test with measurement of the percentage of change in finger systolic blood pressure after finger cooling from 30°C to 10°C (FSBP%10°). Salivary endothelin concentration (ET1–21, in fmol/ml) was measured by a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay before and after the cold challenge. The anamnestic diagnosis of vibration-induced white finger (VWF), assisted by color charts, was based on the Stockholm Workshop criteria.

Results Six forestry workers (11%) and one control (2%) reported white fingers. Before the cold challenge, the salivary ET1–21 concentration was significantly greater in the VWF workers than in the controls (P=0.036). The cold response of digital arteries was stronger in the VWF workers than in the controls (P<0.001) and the asymptomatic forestry workers (P=0.008). After the cold test, there was a small, not significant, increase in the salivary ET1–21 concentration in both the controls and the forestry workers. For the latter, the salivary ET1–21 concentration was significantly associated with both daily and total operating time with vibrating tools. A significant inverse relation between FSBP%10° and the salivary ET1–21 concentration was observed for the forestry workers with an abnormal cold response in their digital arteries.

Conclusions This study showed an association between salivary ET1–21 concentration, daily and cumulative vibration exposure, and vascular disorders in the fingers of professional forestry workers. Since ET1–21 can induce powerful and long-lasting constriction of human vessels, these findings suggest a possible role of this vasopeptide in the pathogenesis of VWF.

The following article refers to this text: 2016;42(2):103-124