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Crack lung

Case contributed by Dr Domenico Nicoletti


Habitual consumer of crack arrives in the emergency room with cough, hemoptysis associated with signs of respiratory distress

Patient Data

Age: 40
Gender: Male


Presence of pulmonary consolidation in the bases.


Six hours later

Diffuse opacities of both lungs, from ARDS. Normal mediastinum. 


Ground glass opacities noted throughout both lungs with more focal consolidation dependently. 


Two weeks later

Crazy paving of both lungs in relation to pulmonary hemorrhage. 

Case Discussion

Crack lung is a pulmonary condition that can occur in those who use large amounts of the narcotic crack cocaine.

The illness typically causes fever, coughing, phlegm, intense pain, and bleeding from the lungs.

Crack lung sometimes shows up as lung abnormalities on X-rays, though this is not always the case. It can cause severe inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue. The condition can lead to chronic lung damage and death.

Lung tissue specimens from this patient revealed diffuse alveolar damage, alveolar hemorrhage, and interstitial and intraalveolar inflammatory cell infiltration notable for the prominence of eosinophils.

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Case information

rID: 30338
Published: 3rd Aug 2014
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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