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Medicine (Baltimore). 2000 Sep;79(5):310-7.

Hut lung. A domestically acquired particulate lung disease.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, Bellevue Chest Service, New York 10016, USA.


We report an illustrative case of advanced "hut lung," or domestically acquired particulate lung disease (DAPLD), in a recently emigrated nonsmoking Bangladeshi woman with a history of 171 hour-years of exposure to biomass smoke. She presented with symptoms of chronic cough, dyspnea, and early parenchymal lung disease. High-resolution computed tomography (CT) of the chest demonstrated numerous 2- to 3-mm nodules, sparing the pleural surface. To our knowledge, this is the first such report of CT findings in the literature. Bronchoscopy yielded typical anthracotic plaques and diffuse anthracosis with interstitial inflammation on histopathologic examination of biopsy specimens. DAPLD is potentially the largest environmentally attributable disorder in the world, with an estimated 3 billion people at risk. Caused by the inhalation of particles liberated from the combustion of biomass fuel, DAPLD results in significant morbidity from infancy to adulthood. Clinically, DAPLD manifests a broad range of disorders from chronic bronchitis and dyspnea to advanced interstitial lung disease and malignancy. While a detailed environmental history is essential for making the diagnosis in most individuals, for patients with advanced DAPLD, invasive modalities such as bronchoscopy with transbronchial biopsy and examination of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid help differentiate it from other diseases. Recognition of this syndrome and removal of the patient from the environment is the only treatment. The development of well-controlled interventional trials and the commitment of sufficient resources to educate local populaces and develop alternative fuel sources, stove designs, and ventilation are essential toward reducing the magnitude of DAPLD.

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