RAJA T. ABBOUD, M.D.; THARWAT T. FERA, M.D.
To the editor: Weitz and associates (1) report increased elastase activity in smokers, as shown by a fivefold increase in plasma levels of the neutrophil elastase-derived fibrinopeptide A-alpha-1-21 in cigarette smokers compared with nonsmokers. The authors also reported a twofold elevation in plasma levels of the fibrinopeptide in cigarette smokers who had refrained from smoking for 12 hours, and then smoked three cigarettes.
Weitz and associates refer to studies on the effect of smoking on bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (2-5); however, these studies report the activity of the elastase inhibitor alpha-1-antiprotease, but not neutrophil elastase activity or levels. Additional studies have
ABBOUD RT, FERA TT. Elastase Activity in Cigarette Smokers. Ann Intern Med. ;108:486–487. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-108-3-486
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;108(3):486-487.
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