Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 1613–1616 | Cite as

Not Your Typical Pneumonia: A Case of Exogenous Lipoid Pneumonia

Case Reports/Clinical Vignettes


The constellation of chronic cough, dyspnea, and hemoptysis can include a broad range of differential diagnoses. Although uncommon, exogenous lipoid pneumonia (ELP) should be considered when patients present with this symptom complex. We report a case of a 72-year-old female who presented with hemoptysis, cough, and dyspnea. The admission computed tomography scan of the chest revealed progressive interstitial infiltrates. Bronchoscopy revealed diffuse erythema without bleeding. Culture and cytology of lavage fluid were negative. Open-lung biopsy revealed numerous lipid-laden macrophages and multinucleated foreign-body giant cells. On further questioning, the patient admitted to the daily use of mineral oil for constipation. The diagnosis of ELP was made. The literature review revealed that many cases typically present with chronic cough with or without dyspnea. Our case illustrates an unusual presenting symptom of hemoptysis and the need to identify patients who can be at risk of developing this rare condition.


exogenous lipoid pneumonia mineral oil laxative 



I would like to acknowledge the Department of Pathology at the University of Kansas for providing the slides on our patient. There was no funding for the writing of this manuscript.

Conflict of Interest Statement

None Disclosed.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of General and Geriatric MedicineUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansasUSA
  2. 2.Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Missouri—Kansas City School of MedicineKansasUSA
  3. 3.Primary Care DivisionClement J. Zablocki VA Medical CenterMilwaukeeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal MedicineMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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