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Eur Respir J. 1992 Jan;5(1):112-4.

Fire-eater's lung.

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Dept of Pulmonary Medicine, Helsinki University, Finland.


Acute pneumonitis following aspiration of petroleum products is usually related to accidental poisonings in children. We describe here two cases of hydrocarbon pneumonitis in fire-eaters, caused by accidental aspiration of petroleum during the performance of fire-eating. Both patients had cough, dyspnoea, chest pain and fever. Chest X-rays showed basal lung infiltrates and, 2 weeks later, pneumatocele formations. Reversible bronchial hyperresponsiveness and restrictive ventilatory limitation were demonstrated in one of the patients. The bronchoalveolar lavage specimen showed cytoplasmic vacuolation of the macrophages and neutrophilia. After treatment with antibiotics and corticosteroids the symptoms disappeared and the lung function values returned to normal within 2-3 weeks. Radiological resolution of the pneumatoceles occurred within 2-12 months.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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