Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Case Reports
. 2018 Jun;141(6):e20163927.
doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-3927. Epub 2018 May 17.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome From E-Cigarette Use

Free article
Case Reports

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome From E-Cigarette Use

Casey G Sommerfeld et al. Pediatrics. .
Free article


Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use, or "vaping," is gaining widespread popularity as an alternative to conventional cigarettes among adolescents. Little is known of the health risks of e-cigarette use, especially in children and adolescents. We present a Case Report of a previously healthy 18-year-old woman who presented with dyspnea, cough, and pleuritic chest pain after e-cigarette use. She developed respiratory failure with hypoxia and was intubated, and ultimately met diagnostic criteria for acute respiratory distress syndrome. Chest tubes were placed to drain worsening pleural effusions. Computed tomography of the chest revealed dependent opacities in both lung bases, superimposed smooth interlobular septal thickening, and pleural effusions. Bronchoalveolar lavage revealed cellular debris and reactive mononuclear cells, and cell counts were remarkable for elevated mononuclear cells and eosinophilia. After the results of a workup for an infectious etiology came back negative, the patient was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis and intravenous methylprednisolone therapy was initiated. After this the patient rapidly improved, was weaned off vasopressor support, and was extubated. This is the first reported case of hypersensitivity pneumonitis and acute respiratory distress syndrome as a risk of e-cigarette use in an adolescent, and it should prompt pediatricians to discuss the potential harms of vaping with their patients. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, lipid pneumonia, and eosinophilic pneumonia should be included in the differential diagnosis of patients who exhibit respiratory symptoms after the use of an e-cigarette.

Conflict of interest statement

POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 18 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms