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Pediatr Pulmonol. 1999 Mar;27(3):180-4.

Long-term clinical course of patients with idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis (1979-1994): prolonged survival with low-dose corticosteroid therapy.

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Department of Pediatrics, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.


Idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis (IPH) is a rare disease of unknown etiology characterized by recurrent episodes of pulmonary symptoms such as cough, hemoptysis, and dyspnea. Our study consisted of 23 patients: 12 males and 11 females with IPH. The diagnosis was based on history, presence of anemia, and characteristic chest X-ray, and was confirmed by showing macrophages laden with hemosiderin in gastric washings or bronchoalveolar lavage and/or open lung biopsy. All but one patient were diagnosed in our department between 1979-1994. There was a history of multiple blood transfusions for anemia in 10 patients. Consanguinity between parents was noted in 11 patients. Severe pallor, cough, hemoptysis, and hepatomegaly were the most common findings on physical examination. All but 2 patients had hypochromic microcytic anemia of varying severity. In 12 children, moderate reticulocytosis was noted. Corticosteroids were administered with doses ranging from 5 mg every other day to 2 mg/kg/day depending on the severity of the episodes (duration of disease from 2-14 years). It is our impression that patients with IPH, benefit from long-term steroid treatment which in turn results in a milder course. Long-term low-dose steroid treatment appeared to prevent crises and assured a prolonged survival.

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