Pulmonary complications of illicit drug use: differential diagnosis based on CT findings

J Thorac Imaging. 2007 May;22(2):199-206. doi: 10.1097/01.rti.0000213567.86408.19.


Objective: The aim of this manuscript is to summarize an approach to the differential diagnosis of the pulmonary complications of illicit drug use based on the computed tomography findings.

Conclusions: The various pulmonary complications of illicit drug use result in 5 main patterns of parenchymal abnormality: nodules, ground-glass opacities, consolidation, air trapping, and emphysema. Other thoracic manifestations of illicit drug use include pulmonary arterial hypertension, pneumomediastinum, bacterial endocarditis, discitis, and septic arthritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*