Acute pneumonia in a fire-eater

Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2010 Oct-Dec;23(4):1289-92. doi: 10.1177/039463201002300437.


Fire-eater's lung, an acute exogenous lipoid pneumonia, is caused when street performers accidentally inhale pyrofluids. We report the case of a young fire-eater who, 12 hours after inhaling an iso-alkanebased pyrofluid, developed fever, dyspnoea, dry cough and intense right chest pain. Radiographic signs of pneumonia emerged two days later. Computed tomography (CT) scans visualized an irregular area of parenchymal consolidation with an air bronchiologram and peripheral ground-glass opacities in the right middle lobe. The diagnostic work-up included microbiological and lung function tests, optic fibre bronchoscopy and an in-depth cyto-immunological analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Symptoms gradually improved over a few days. A CT scan one month later showed the thickened parenchymal area in the right middle lobe had almost completely disappeared.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Fires*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pneumonia, Lipid / etiology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed