“Chemical Burns’ Seen as Probable Cause of Vaping Lung Damage”, Larsen et al, published online October 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Lung injuries from vaping probably result from direct toxicity or tissue damage caused by noxious chemical fumes, rather than from an accumulation of lipids in the lungs, pathology data suggest.
“We were not surprised by what we found, regarding toxicity,” Brandon T. Larsen, MD, PhD, a surgical pathologist at the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona, and a national expert in lung pathology, said in a news release.
“We have seen a handful of cases, scattered individual cases, over the past two years where we’ve observed the same thing, and now we are seeing a sudden spike in cases. Our study offers the first detailed review of the abnormalities that may be seen in lung biopsies to help clinicians and pathologists make a diagnosis in an appropriate clinical context,” Larsen said.
To learn more about the pathology of vaping-associated lung injury, Larsen and colleagues studied lung biopsy specimens from 17 patients (13 men; median age, 35 years) who reported vaping and who were suspected of having associated lung injuries. Larsen and colleagues’ findings were published online October 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine.