Interstitial pneumonitis associated with "crack" cocaine abuse

Chest. 1991 Oct;100(4):1155-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.100.4.1155.


A 33-year-old woman developed acute bilateral pulmonary infiltrates after the intense use of rock cocaine (crack). She subsequently had progressive deterioration of pulmonary function to the point of being ventilator-dependent. Open lung biopsy showed a chronic interstitial pneumonia with extensive accumulation of free silica within histiocytes associated with mild pulmonary fibrosis. This pattern of interstitial pneumonia has not been previously reported in crack users.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Crack Cocaine / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / chemically induced*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnosis
  • Silicosis / etiology
  • Silicosis / pathology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*


  • Crack Cocaine