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South Med J. 1994 Jul;87(7):767-9.

Hydroxyurea-induced acute interstitial lung disease.

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  • 1Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH.


Hydroxyurea is a cytotoxic agent that is being increasingly used for a number of malignant and nonmalignant systemic diseases. This agent is particularly well tolerated, with dose-related myelosuppression being the primary side effect. We describe a patient who had patchy interstitial infiltrates with cavitation 2 months after the start of therapy with hydroxyurea. After hydroxyurea therapy was discontinued and empiric corticosteroid therapy was given, the pulmonary infiltrates resolved. This is a case of presumed hydroxyurea-induced lung disease, the first with supportive lung biopsy material. It is essential for physicians to be aware of this potentially life-threatening toxicity.

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