Around nine million people have been exposed to toxic humidifier disinfectants (HDs) in Korea. HD exposure may lead to HD-associated lung injuries (HDLI). However, many people who have claimed that they experienced HD exposure were not diagnosed with HDLI but still felt discomfort, possibly due to the unknown effects of HD. Therefore, this study examined HD-exposed subjects with normal-appearing lungs, as well as unexposed subjects, in clusters (subgroups) with distinct characteristics, classified by deep-learning-derived computed-tomography (CT)-based tissue pattern latent traits. Among the major clusters, cluster 0 (C0) and cluster 5 (C5) were dominated by HD-exposed and unexposed subjects, respectively. C0 was characterized by features attributable to lung inflammation or fibrosis in contrast with C5. The computational fluid and particle dynamics (CFPD) analysis suggested that the smaller airway sizes observed in the C0 subjects led to greater airway resistance and particle deposition in the airways. Accordingly, women appeared more vulnerable to HD-associated lung abnormalities than men.
|Journal||International journal of environmental research and public health|
|State||Published - Oct 2022|
- cluster analysis
- computational fluid and particle dynamics
- computed tomography
- deep learning
- humidifier disinfectants