Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Fever and neutrophilic alveolitis caused by a vanadium based catalyst
  1. O Vandenplas1,
  2. F Binard-Van Cangh2,
  3. J Gregoire2,
  4. A Brumagne2,
  5. A Larbanois1
  1. 1Service de Pneumologie, Cliniques Universitaires de Mont-Godinne, Université Catholique de Louvain, Yvoir, Belgium
  2. 2Fonds des Maladies Professionnelles, Brussels, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr O Vandenplas, Service de Pneumologie, Cliniques Universitaires de Mont-Godinne, B5530 Yvoir, Belgium;


Aims: To investigate a worker who experienced systemic and respiratory symptoms when exposed to a vanadium containing powder used as a catalyst in the production of maleic anhydride.

Methods: The investigation included inhalation challenge with the suspected compound combined with monitoring of lung function tests and post-challenge bronchoalveolar lavage.

Results: Exposure to the vanadium containing catalyst for 120 minutes resulted in a sustained decline in forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second, while the transfer factor for carbon monoxide did not change significantly. The subject developed fever and peripheral blood neutrophilia. Bronchoalveolar lavage performed 48 hours after the end of challenge exposure showed a marked increase in neutrophils (60% of total cell count).

Conclusions: Exposure to vanadium can cause a metal fume fever-like syndrome associated with neutrophilic alveolitis.

  • alveolitis
  • bronchial provocation tests
  • occupational disease
  • metal fume fever
  • vanadium
  • FEV, forced expiratory volume
  • FVC, forced vital capacity

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.