Clinic and radiological improvement of lipoid pneumonia with multiple bronchoalveolar lavages

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2009 Apr;44(4):309-15. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20918.


Objective: To assess the potential role of multiple bronchoalveolar lavages (BALs) in the treatment of children with lipoid pneumonia (LP).

Materials and methods: This prospective study included 10 children (7 female, 3 male) with LP secondary to mineral oil aspiration. The age ranged from 3 months to 7 years and 1-60 days history of mineral oil intake, with a 6 months clinic follow-up. High-resolution computer tomography (CT) was performed 1-7 days prior to treatment and 2-20 days after the last therapeutic BAL, and reviewed by two experienced chest radiologists. Oxygen saturation was measured with digital oximetry. Therapeutic BAL was performed weekly until BAL fluid was nearly transparent and the cell count returned to normal range values.

Results: In all children, the initial CT scans showed multifocal bilateral consolidation involving mainly the dorsal and central regions. The areas of consolidation had foci of decreased attenuation in eight patients. Following a total of 4-10 therapeutic BALs, the CT scans returned to normal in 3 patients, improved considerably in 5, and showed only slight improvement in 2. Oxygen saturation increased from 88.8 +/- 3.4% at presentation to 96.2 +/- 0.8% after treatment (P < 0.0001). Multiple lavages reduced (P < 0.003) numbers of lipid-laden macrophages and restored BAL cellularity to normal range values.

Conclusion: Multiple therapeutic BAL of children with LP results in significant improvement of CT findings, oxygen saturation, restoration of BAL fluid cellularity and clinical recover without any evidence of respiratory distress at the end of treatment and 6 months after the last BAL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage / methods*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Bronchoscopy / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Macrophages, Alveolar
  • Male
  • Oximetry
  • Pneumonia, Lipid / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Lipid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pneumonia, Lipid / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome