Difficult cases in heart failure: amiodarone lung injury: another heart failure mimic?

Congest Heart Fail. 2002 Mar-Apr;8(2):93-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-5299.2002.00759.x.


Careful thought must be given to the development of bystander pathology that could mimic worsening of heart failure. Recent trials with patients receiving amiodarone record a low rate of amiodarone pulmonary toxicity of 1.6%. Bronchoalveolar lavage in amiodarone toxicity demonstrates an absolute and relative lymphocytic alveolitis, suggesting hypersensitivity, but this finding is neither sensitive nor specific. Recently, KL-6, a mucin-like high molecular weight glycoprotein secreted by proliferating type II alveolar pneumocytes, has been identified as a potential marker of interstitial pneumonitis. A high index of suspicion combined with rapid exclusion of common confounding mimics can help in establishing the diagnosis of amiodarone lung toxicity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Amiodarone / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / adverse effects*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Amiodarone