Nasal application of petrolatum ointment - A silent cause of exogenous lipoid pneumonia: Successfully treated with prednisolone

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Abstract

We report a case of exogenous lipoid pneumonia from chronic, extranasal use of petrolatum ointment (Vicks VapoRub in this case) for nasal decongestion in a young woman, presenting with cough, dyspnea and fever. Exogenous Lipoid pneumonia is a rare condition, underdiagnosed and is more prevalent in adults. Usually asymptomatic and diagnosed while evaluating predisposed patients who become clinically unstable or an abnormal lung shadow or during evaluation of rhinobronchial allergy. It is rarely reported from chronic use of petrolatum ointment extranasally and was diagnosed by transbronchial biopsy in the present case. She was found, retrospectively, to have been using petrolatum ointment, as an extranasal application since more than a year at bedtime. She didn't give history of using any other oil-based nasal topical vasoconstrictor preparations for sinusitis. Our patient was managed with discontinuation of further use of the petrolatum ointment and treatment with prednisolone apart from her regular treatment for chronic rhinobronchial allergy. Patient is stable without any further radiological deterioration during follow-up of one year.

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Kilaru, H., Prasad, S., Radha, S., Nallagonda, R., Kilaru, S. C., & Nandury, E. C. (2017). Nasal application of petrolatum ointment - A silent cause of exogenous lipoid pneumonia: Successfully treated with prednisolone. Respiratory Medicine Case Reports, 22, 98–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmcr.2017.07.003

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