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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Evaluation of Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid from Patients in an Outbreak of E-cigarette, or Vaping, P

Wednesday, November 20, 2019  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Benjamin C. Blount, PhD,; Mateusz P. Karwowski, MD, Maria Morel-Espinosa, PhD, Jon Rees, PhD, Connie Sosnoff, MA,  Elizabeth Cowan, PhD, Michael Gardner, MS, Lanqing Wang, PhD, Liza Valentin-Blasini, PhD, Lalith Silva, PhD, Víctor R. De Jesús, PhD, Zsuzsanna Kuklenyik, PhD, Cliff Watson, PhD, Tiffany Seyler, PhD, Baoyun Xia, PhD, David Chambers, PhD, Peter Briss, MD, Brian A. King, PhD, Lisa Delaney, MS, Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, DrPH, Grant T. Baldwin, PhD, John R. Barr, PhD, Jerry Thomas, MD, James L. Pirkle, MD, PhD.
Evaluation of Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid from Patients in an Outbreak of E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use–Associated Lung Injury — 10 States. August–October 2019.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:860-864.

CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and multiple public health and clinical partners are investigating a national outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use–associated lung injury (EVALI). Based on data collected as of October 15, 2019, 86% of 867 EVALI patients reported using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products in the 3 months preceding symptom onset (1). Analyses of THC-containing product samples by FDA and state public health laboratories have identified potentially harmful constituents in these products, such as vitamin E acetate, medium chain triglyceride oil (MCT oil), and other lipids (2,3) (personal communication, D.T. Heitkemper, FDA Forensic Chemistry Center, November 2019). Vitamin E acetate, in particular, might be used as an additive in the production of e-cigarette, or vaping, products; it also can be used as a thickening agent in THC products (4). Inhalation of vitamin E acetate might impair lung function (57).

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