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Lipoid pneumonia in children following aspiration of mineral oil used in the treatment of constipation: high-resolution CT findings in 17 patients

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Exogenous lipoid pneumonia is a rare disorder caused by aspiration of mineral, vegetable and animal oils. High-resolution CT findings of lipoid pneumonia in children taking mineral oil for constipation have been rarely reported.


To evaluate the high-resolution CT findings in 17 children with exogenous lipoid pneumonia following aspiration of mineral oil.

Materials and methods

The study included nine boys and eight girls, with ages ranging from 2 months to 9 years. All patients underwent high-resolution CT and the images were reviewed by two radiologists who reached decisions by consensus. The inclusion criteria were an abnormal radiograph, history of taking mineral oil and the presence of intrapulmonary lipids proved by bronchoalveolar lavage or open lung biopsy.


The most common symptoms were cough (n = 13), mild fever (n = 11), and progressive dyspnea (n = 9). The main CT findings were air-space consolidations (100%), usually with areas of fatty attenuation (70.6%), areas of ground-glass attenuation (52.9%), and a crazy-paving pattern (17.6%), predominating bilaterally in the posterior and lower regions of the lungs.


The high-resolution CT features in children with exogenous lipoid pneumonia are air-space consolidations and ground-glass attenuation, occasionally with a crazy-paving pattern, distributed bilaterally in the posterior and lower zones of the lungs.

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The authors thank the following clinicians and radiologists who contributed one or two patients to this study: Alexandre Silva, Antonio Soares de Souza, César de Araujo Neto, Clemax Couto Santana, Luiz Felipe Nobre, Maria Luiza Bernardes, and Selma Sias.

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Correspondence to Edson Marchiori.

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Zanetti, G., Marchiori, E., Gasparetto, T.D. et al. Lipoid pneumonia in children following aspiration of mineral oil used in the treatment of constipation: high-resolution CT findings in 17 patients. Pediatr Radiol 37, 1135–1139 (2007).

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