Lipoid pneumonia (LP) is an unwonted, mostly asymptomatic entity which has no classical radiological appearance. It can be endogenous or exogenous depending upon the type of exposure or underlying milieu. It simulates a number of infective and malignant respiratory conditions and can go undiagnosed or delayed leading to morbidity and mortality. We put forward three cases that initially presented as classical pneumonia, but on further assessment and investigations were diagnosed to be LP. All the three cases manifested with symptoms of fever, productive cough and breathlessness. Chest Xray and CT scan were indicative of consolidation. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) evinced lipid laden macrophages that stained positive with fat stains (Sudan IV and Oil Red O). Two cases were endogenous and one was exogenous type. LP, owing to its nonspecific clinical presentation and radiographic signs, needs a high index of suspicion, and a detailed clinical history for accurate diagnosis. Corroboration of lipid laden alveolar macrophages in BAL is the crux to the diagnosis. Hence, clinicians should be cognizant of this condition and rule out LP in cases of non-resolving pneumonia in an appropriate clinical context.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine