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Case report
Idiopathic acute eosinophilic pneumonia
  1. Matthew Pizzuto,
  2. Matthew Seychell,
  3. Brendan Caruana Montaldo and
  4. Adrian Mizzi
  1. Department of Medicine, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta
  1. Correspondence to Dr Matthew Pizzuto, matthew.a.pizzuto{at}


A 44-year-old asthmatic male patient presented to the health centre with a 3-week history of coryzal symptoms, persistent productive sputum and shortness of breath. The chest X-ray (CXR) revealed symmetrical, perihilar airspace shadowed with peribronchial cuffing and bilateral reticular markings. The patient did not improve despite treatment, and hence a high resolution CT (HRCT) scan of the thorax was recommended. The HRCT showed smooth interlobular septal thickening, central perihilar soft tissue thickening and patches of ground glass changes. Both the CXR and HRCT findings, along with the symptoms and eosinophilia counts, were suggestive of idiopathic acute eosinophilic pneumonia (IAEP) which was confirmed on bronchoalveolar lavage. The patient was successfully treated with steroids. This case highlights the symptoms, diagnosis, management and treatment of IAEP. A rapid diagnosis of this rare disease is essential since it can be completely cured with correct management but can be fatal if left untreated. Once properly treated, this disease does not recur.

  • Pneumonia (respiratory Medicine)
  • Interstitial Lung Disease
  • Radiology (diagnostics)
  • Respiratory System
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  • MP and MS are joint-first authors and equally contributed to this work.

  • Contributors MP wrote the background, case summary, discussion and references. MS wrote the case presentation, outcome and follow-up. BCM reviewed the report. AM provided the images.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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