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Clin Respir J. 2018 Mar;12(3):1295-1299. doi: 10.1111/crj.12775. Epub 2018 Feb 22.

Organizing pneumonia related to electronic cigarette use: A case report and review of literature.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio.
Division of Pulmonary, Critical care and Sleep medicine, University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio.
Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Vincent Hospital, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Department of Pathology, University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio.



Electronic cigarettes (e cigarettes) are battery operated devices that produce aerosol by heating a solution typically made up of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin and flavouring agents. The use of e cigarettes has risen dramatically in recent years especially among adolescents and young adults. These devices have been marketed as safer alternatives to tobacco smoking by their manufactures despite lack of adequate safety data.


We present a case of 40-year-old female patient who developed significant pulmonary toxicity secondary to e cigarette use and searched existing literature relevant to the case.


To our knowledge this is the second reported case of organizing pneumonia and tenth reported case of pulmonary toxicity related to e cigarette use. Our patient presented with symptoms of worsening dyspnoea and intermittent chest pain for past 1 month. She reported increased use of e cigarettes during this time period to help her quit smoking. Patient developed acute hypoxemic respiratory failure requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation. She was diagnosed with organizing pneumonia on open lung biopsy and was successfully treated with steroids along with abstinence from e cigarette use.


As the current data on health effects of e cigarettes is limited, case reports can serve important piece of information in this regard. The use of e cigarettes has increased exponentially in recent years and continue to rise; therefore, physicians should be aware of adverse effects and toxicity related to its use.


aerosols; electronic cigarettes; organizing pneumonia; pulmonary toxicity

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