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Lipid pneumonia
Classification and external resources
ICD-9 516.8
MeSH D011017
Streptococcus pneumoniae-263.jpg
Infectious pneumonias
Pneumonias caused by infectious or noninfectious agents
Noninfectious pneumonia

Lipid pneumonia or lipoid pneumonia is a specific form of lung inflammation (pneumonia) that develops when lipids enter the bronchial tree.



Sources of such lipids could be either exogenous or endogenous.[1]

Exogenous: from outside the body. For example, inhaled nose drops with an oil base, or accidental inhalation of cosmetic oil. Amiodarone is an anti-arrythmic know to cause this condition.

Endogenous: from the body itself, for example, when an airway is obstructed, it is often the case that distal to the obstruction, lipid-laden macrophages (foamy macrophages) and giant cells fill the lumen of the disconnected airspace.


The gross appearance of a lipid pneumonia is that in which there is an ill-defined, pale yellow area on the lung. This yellow appearance explains the colloquial term "golden" pneumonia.

At the microscopic scale foamy macrophages and giant cells are seen in the airways, and the inflammatory response is visible in the mesenchyme.


Treatment is with antibiotics, corticosteroids and possibly intravenous immunoglobulins.




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