Lung - nontumor
Other nonneoplastic disease
Intravenous drug abusers

Author: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 21 March 2017, last major update December 2011

Copyright: (c) 2003-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed search: pulmonary intravenous drug abuse

Cite this page: Intravenous drug abusers. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/lungnontumorivda.html. Accessed June 28th, 2017.
Clinical features
  • Often incidental findings at autopsy or biopsy
  • Lesions due to injection of insoluble fillers of oral mediation, which lodge in small pulmonary arteries; may include crospovidone, talc, cornstarch or microcrystalline cellulose with characteristic findings
  • All but cornstarch persist indefinitely
  • Patients may have dyspnea or hypoxia; due to related infection, pulmonary edema, diffuse alveolar damage, vasculopathy leading to pulmonary hypertension or interstitial fibrosis
  • Chest xray usually shows a micronodular pattern
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Fresh or organizing arterial thrombi with foreign material
  • Perivascular foreign body granulomas contain birefringent foreign material resembling starch, talc or other materials
  • May be associated with acute vasculitis, interstitial inflammation and fibrosis
Microscopic (histologic) images

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