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Am J Med Sci. 2008 Apr;335(4):310-4. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31811ec1a0.

Positron emission tomography-positive squalene-induced lipoid pneumonia confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Hematology, Rheumatology and Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, 1750-1, Ikenobe, Miki-cho, Kita-gun, Kagawa, 761-0793, Japan.


Squalene is a type of oil obtained from shark liver. We describe a 76-year-old man diagnosed with chronic exogenous lipoid pneumonia due to squalene. A chest CT scan revealed pulmonary consolidation with ground-glass opacities in the right upper lobe. Positron emission tomography (PET) revealed significant uptake of 2-deoxy-2-F-fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) and 3'-deoxy-3'-F-fluorothymidine (FLT). Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid contained many lipid-laden macrophages, and a transbronchial lung biopsy specimen showed clusters of foamy macrophages in alveolar spaces and granulomatous lesions. In addition, the presence of squalene in the BAL fluid was confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, leading to a diagnosis of squalene-induced lipoid pneumonia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of squalene-induced lipoid pneumonia in which squalene itself was successfully detected. This case also suggests the possibility that lipoid pneumonia shows significant uptake in FDG-PET and FLT-PET.

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