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Eur Radiol. 1999;9(2):287-91.

Exogenous lipoid pneumonia: high-resolution CT findings.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Songpa-Gu, Seoul, Korea.


The aim of this study was to assess high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings of exogenous lipoid pneumonia. High-resolution computed tomography was obtained in 25 patients with proven exogenous lipoid pneumonia resulting from aspiration of squalene (derived from shark liver oil). Diagnosis was based on biopsy (n = 9), bronchoalveolar lavage (n = 8), or sputum cytology and clinical findings (n = 8). The clinical history of taking squalene was confirmed in all patients. The CT findings were classified into three patterns: diffuse ground-glass opacity, consolidation, and interstitial abnormalities. Distribution of the abnormalities, duration of taking squalene, predisposing factors for aspiration, and route of administration were analyzed. Ten patients showed diffuse ground-glass opacity pattern. Seven of 10 patients had predisposing conditions such as unconsciousness, pharyngeal dysmotility, or motor disturbances, and 6 patients had a recent history of taking large amount of squalene through nasal route. Seven patients who had consolidation pattern had a history of taking squalene for several months and did not have any predisposing factor. All of the 5 patients who had a pattern of interstitial abnormalities had a history of taking squalene longer than 1 year and showed segmental distribution of interstitial thickening with interposing ground-glass opacities. Three patients simultaneously had two different patterns at different lobes of the lung. The HRCT findings of lipoid pneumonia are ground-glass opacities, consolidation, and interstitial abnormalities. These HRCT findings with appropriate inquiries could be useful for diagnosis of exogenous lipoid pneumonia.

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