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Lipoid (lipid) pneumonia 

Lipoid (lipid) pneumonia
Lipoid (lipid) pneumonia

S. J. Bourke

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date: 27 February 2021

Lipoid pneumonia is an unusual form of lung disease resulting from the accumulation of lipids in the alveoli, where they provoke a foreign body reaction with associated inflammation and sometimes local fibrosis. The lipids may be endogenous or exogenous in origin, and the clinical mechanisms and circumstances differ accordingly. Exogenous lipoid pneumonia occurs when animal, vegetable, or mineral oils are aspirated or inhaled into the lungs, provoking a foreign body reaction with chronic inflammation. Typical symptoms are cough and breathlessness. The chest radiograph and CT may show interstitial thickening, with areas of consolidation that may coalesce into a mass (paraffinoma) which simulates carcinoma. Bronchoalveolar lavage and biopsy show lipid-laden macrophages. In endogenous lipoid pneumonia the lipids are derived from surfactant and cholesterol released from decaying cells distal to bronchial obstruction.

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