Research area: Medical diagnosis and treatment

In case of a severe chemical event, there is a need to identify exposed individuals and to provide medical care for these individuals depending on the specific chemical, degree of exposure and symptoms. For this, both improved methods to measure exposure and procedures for medical treatment are important. Access to validated diagnostic biomarkers would facilitate in identifying exposed patients in need of medical care and to follow the response to medical treatment. 


Medical treatments of chemically induced lung injury - use of biomarkers to identify more efficient medical treatments.


The aim of this project is to identify the most efficient medical treatments for lung injury caused by toxic industrial gases both in preventing acute and chronic symptoms.


The industrial chemicals chlorine, ammonia and sulfur dioxide are all toxic gases that are highly irritating and damaging to the lung. Exposure to these toxic gases can cause both acute and long-term (chronic) lung injury in central and peripheral airways. At high doses, these gases induce severe lung inflammation and fluid accumulation in the airways which, in the worst cases, can be life threatening. An improved knowledge of how the chemical-induced lung injury occurs increases the possibility of developing and refining new treatments. The ability to use biomarkers to determine the risk of developing symptoms or determination of the degree of injury would facilitate the medical care significantly. Biomarkers are also of great value to monitor the progress of medical treatments.


We have previously identified potential biomarkers for acute and long-term effects after exposure to chlorine. It is hoped that these biomarkers could after validation be used in clinical diagnosis, for instance in order to identify individuals exposed to chlorine that are at risk of chronic injuries. The project aims to validate various treatment protocols using existing or proposed pharmaceuticals for chemical-induced lung injury. This will ultimately lead to better medical treatments of both acute and chronic symptoms.


The project is a collaboration between FOI CBRN Defence and Security and the Unit of Respiratory Medicine at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University.


Project manager: Sofia Jonasson


Read more under publications: Medical diagnosis and treatment