Mustard gas toxicity: The acute and chronic pathological effects

Kamyar Ghabili, Paul S. Agutter, Mostafa Ghanei, Khalil Ansarin, Mohammadali M. Shoja

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Ever since it was first used in armed conflict, mustard gas (sulfur mustard, MG) has been known to cause a wide range of acute and chronic injuries to exposure victims. The earliest descriptions of these injuries were published during and in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, and a further series of accounts followed the Second World War. More recently, MG has been deployed in warfare in the Middle East and this resulted in large numbers of victims, whose conditions have been studied in detail at hospitals in the region. In this review, we bring together the older and more recent clinical studies on MG toxicity and summarize what is now known about the acute and chronic effects of the agent on the eyes, skin, respiratory tract and other physiological systems. In the majority of patients, the most clinically serious long-term consequences of MG poisoning are on the respiratory system, but the effects on the skin and other systems also have a significant impact on quality of life. Aspects of the management of these patients are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-643
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Toxicology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute
  • Chronic
  • Eye
  • Lung
  • Mustard gas
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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