Unexpectedly long half-lives of blood 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF) levels in Yusho patients

Shinya Matsumoto, Manabu Akahane, Yoshiyuki Kanagawa, Jumboku Kajiwara, Chikage Mitoma, Hiroshi Uchi, Masutaka Furue, Tomoaki Imamura

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds have half-lives typically between 7.2 years and 15 years. Our previous study of patients poisoned by extremely high concentrations of 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF) in the 'Yusho incident' in 1968 found that in some the half-life of blood 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF tended towards infinity. This suggests that there are two groups of Yusho patients, those with 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF half-lives around 10 years, and those with half-lives near infinity. We sought to establish the proportions of each in a cohort of 395 Yusho patients, and whether the proportions were changing over time. Methods: We undertook longitudinal measurement of the blood concentration of 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF in our cohort between 2002 and 2010. We estimated the change in concentration for each patient using linear regression for measured 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF concentration, then compared the distribution of changes in concentrations with our previous study. Results: In patients in whom the blood concentration of 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF exceeded 50 pg/g lipid, the proportion 8.0 % of patients exhibiting half-lives less than 13.3 years fell compared with our previous study (28.2 %), while the proportion with near infinity half-lives increased. Conclusion: The prolongation of the half-lives was likely a consequence of age-related factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number76
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 17 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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