Fire-eater's lung

Adv Respir Med. 2016;84(6):337-341. doi: 10.5603/ARM.2016.0044.


Fire eater's lung (FEL) is an acute hydrocarbon pneumonitis caused by aspiration or inhalation into airways of liquid hydrocarbons. This disorder is classified into distinct form of chemical toxic pneumonitis. An amateur fire-eater is presented in this work. He accidentally aspirated into airways about 1/3 of glass of grill lighter fluid composed of mixture of liquid hydrocarbons. A few hours after this incident he had severe symptoms like weakness, high temperature, midsternal pleuritic chest pain, myalgia of the back, shortness of breath, and dry cough. Radiologic examination revealed consolidations with well-defined cavitary lesions (pneumatoceles) in lower lobes mainly in the left lower lobe. After one week of this event clinical improvement was observed. The lesions resolved nearly completly during three months. The review of the literature connected with fire-eater's lung is also presented.

Keywords: hydrocarbon pneumonitis; liquid hydrocarbons with low viscosity; pneumatoceles.