Research Article

Immunological mechanisms in the pathogenesis of vinyl chloride disease.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 17 April 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:936
  1. A M Ward,
  2. S Udnoon,
  3. J Watkins,
  4. A E Walker,
  5. C S Darke


    Vinyl chloride (VC) disease is a multisystem disorder incorporating Raynaud's phenomenon, acro-osteolysis, thrombocytopenia, portal fibrosis, and hepatic and pulmonary dysfunction. Immunological and immunochemical investigations showed the presence of circulating immune complexes in 19 out of 28 patients with the disease and in a further two out of 30 workers exposed to VC. The immunological data were reviewed in relation to the clinical picture of the disease and to the available evidence on the metabolism of VC. The results suggest that VC disease is an immune complex disorder and that the immune response is initiated by the adsorption of VC or a metabolite on to tissue or plasma protein.