Canadian Respiratory Journal

Canadian Respiratory Journal / 2014 / Article

Clinico-Pathologic Conferences | Open Access

Volume 21 |Article ID 803708 |

Ryan R Kroll, Diane A Flood, John Srigley, "Desquamative Interstitial Pneumonitis in a Healthy Non-Smoker: A Rare Diagnosis", Canadian Respiratory Journal, vol. 21, Article ID 803708, 3 pages, 2014.

Desquamative Interstitial Pneumonitis in a Healthy Non-Smoker: A Rare Diagnosis


This article reports a rare condition first described in 1965 and is most commonly associated with smoking and certain occupations. Onset of nonspecific symptoms is typically insidious and, while bloodwork and imaging may be valuable, tissue sampling is required for diagnosis. Desquamative interstitial pneumonitis most commonly affects tobacco smokers in their fourth or fifth decades of life; this article, however, describes the condition in a 27-year-old who worked in a potato chip factory.Desquamative interstitial pneumonitis is an interstitial lung disease most commonly associated with smoking. It causes respiratory symptoms including indolent cough and dyspnea. Characteristic findings on computed tomography include bilateral ground-glass opacities, septal thickening and preserved structure. Diagnosis is made by tissue sampling, which classically demonstrates alveolar macrophages, and thickened alveolar septa with an eosinophilic infiltrate lined with hyperplastic type II pneumocytes. Treatment is immune suppression with steroids or other agents, and avoiding the causal agent. The case reported describes a 27-year-old woman with no smoking history who worked in a potato chip factory, presenting with cough, dyspnea and dizziness. The patient had characteristic findings on imaging and was diagnosed via biopsy with desquamative interstitial pneumonitis. She improved clinically with reduced exposure and steroid therapy. While food production workers are at risk for respiratory illness, there are no reported cases of desquamative interstitial pneumonitis in this setting.

Copyright © 2014 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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