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. 2020 Jan 1;153(1):30-39.
doi: 10.1093/ajcp/aqz182.

Lung Biopsy Findings in Severe Pulmonary Illness Associated With E-Cigarette Use (Vaping)


Lung Biopsy Findings in Severe Pulmonary Illness Associated With E-Cigarette Use (Vaping)

Sanjay Mukhopadhyay et al. Am J Clin Pathol. .


Objectives: The aim of this report is to describe the lung biopsy findings in vaping-associated pulmonary illness.

Methods: Lung biopsies from eight patients with vaping-associated pulmonary illness were reviewed.

Results: The biopsies were from eight men (aged 19-61 years) with respiratory symptoms following e-cigarette use (vaping). Workup for infection was negative in all cases, and there was no evidence for other etiologies. Imaging showed diffuse bilateral ground-glass opacities in all patients. Most recovered with corticosteroid therapy, while one died. Lung biopsies (seven transbronchial, one surgical) showed acute lung injury, including organizing pneumonia and/or diffuse alveolar damage. Common features were fibroblast plugs, hyaline membranes, fibrinous exudates, type 2 pneumocyte hyperplasia, and interstitial organization. Some cases featured a sparse interstitial chronic inflammatory infiltrate. Although macrophages were present within the airspaces in all cases, this feature was not prominent, and findings typical of exogenous lipoid pneumonia were absent.

Conclusions: The histopathology of acute pulmonary illness related to e-cigarette use (vaping) is characterized by acute lung injury patterns, supporting the contention that vaping can cause severe lung damage.

Keywords: Acute lung injury; Dabbing; Diffuse alveolar damage; E-cigarettes; Electronic cigarettes; Lung biopsy; Lung pathology; Organizing pneumonia; Vaping; Vaping-associated pulmonary illness.

Comment in

  • Vaping-Associated Lung Injury.
    Boland JM, Aesif SW. Boland JM, et al. Am J Clin Pathol. 2020 Jan 1;153(1):1-2. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/aqz191. Am J Clin Pathol. 2020. PMID: 31651033 No abstract available.

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