Acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis found in user of e-cigarettes: Case study

Acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis found in user of e-cigarettes: Case studyMore evidence is growing regarding the dangers of e-cigarettes, and now the latest findings show cases of acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis in users. The findings come from researchers at the VA Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont. The researchers report that they have found cases of acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis related to e-cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes with the ingredient diacetyl.

The case study involved a 60-year-old cigar smoking male who was admitted to the hospital with chills, fever and a cough. After three days of treatment with ceftriaxone and azithromycin, the gentleman was discharged and went home feeling normal once again.


After a month’s time, the gentleman had the same symptoms once again. He presented a fever as well as hypoxemic – a condition where the body is oxygen deprived. A chest CT revealed he had bilateral upper lung zone crackles and bilateral upper lobe predominant ground glass opacities. With further questioning the patient revealed he was a heavy user of flavored e-cigarettes.

Diagnosis was inhalation injury as well as acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis associated with the use of the e-cigarette. After his second visit the patient stopped use of the e-cigarettes and the symptoms did not return. After a three-month follow up, a chest CT revealed everything was back to normal.

Lead researcher, Dr. Graham Atkins, said, “The use of e-cigarettes in the United States is increasing rapidly and the flavorings used, many of which contain diacetyl, may be harmful. This case adds to the growing body of research indicating e-cigarettes pose a health risk.”

The findings will be shared during the CHEST 2015 conference in Montreal, Canada on October 27th.


Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.


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