Minasarc 01: a pilot case control study

  • Sarcoidosis. Non necrotizing granulomas. © Yale RosenSarcoidosis. Non necrotizing granulomas. © Yale Rosen

The Silicosis project is a truly interdisciplinary collaboration: the team’s medical research informs its historical and social sciences work, while the historical aspect helps to open up new avenues in medical research. One of the project’s medical objectives is to explore the potential role of silica as a causal factor in a range of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and sarcoidosis.

Focusing on one of these diseases, Minasarc 01 is a prospective study on the role of mineral particles and nanoparticles in the etiology of sarcoidosis. It was conceived and implemented by a working group bringing together pulmonologists, occupational medicine doctors, anatomopathologists, sociologists, historians of science and mineralogists.

The study is a collaboration between the Silicosis project, the Minapath Laboratory based at the CH St-Joseph St-Luc in Lyon and the Sarcoidosis working group of the Société de Pneumologie de langue française (SPLF).

Primary objectives

Minasarc 01 is a prospective, multicentric, diagnostic and physiopathological blind study. It aims to establish whether the lungs of sarcoidosis patients contain significantly higher levels of inorganic dust particles than healthy people.

  • This will be done by testing the dust levels of the filtrate of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) of 20 healthy subjects and 20 sarcoidosis patients, examining them using optical microscopy (OM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with microanalysis (MA).
  • The subjects will also fill out a questionnaire about their health status as well as the exposure to inorganic particles they have been submitted to in occupational and non-occupational activities throughout their lives.
  • The study will also examine the input of in situ mineralogical analysis of granuloma.

Secondary objectives

  • To demonstrate a correlation between a mineral overload of the BAL of the sarcoidosis patients and the questionnaire data.
  • To demonstrate a correlation between a mineral overload of the BAL and in situ anatomopathological data using OM, TEM and MA.

Photo credit: Sarcoidosis. Non necrotizing granulomas. © Yale Rosen, 9 August 2011, via Flickr Creative Commons. Licence.

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