Giant cell interstitial pneumonia is a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis. It is currently considered form of pneumoconiosis and in many situations is caused by exposure to metal compounds such as cobalt or tungsten carbide.
While some authors consider this term to be synonymous with or being almost pathognomonic of hard metal pneumoconiosis 5,7, there are certain situations where giant cell interstitial pneumonia is idiopathic and not associated with exposure to hard metal compounds 2-3.
Giant cell interstitial pneumonia is characterized by the prominence of large, actively phagocytic alveolar giant cells of histiocytic origin in the presence of chronic interstitial pneumonia. Multinucleated type 2 granular pneumocytes may also be present 2.
- exposure to hard metal compounds: strong
- nitrofurantoin: possible 6
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- 3. Menon B, Sharma A, Kripalani J et-al. Giant cell interstitial pneumonia in a 60-year-old female without hard metal exposure. Respiration.;73 (6): 833-5. Respiration (abstract) - doi:10.1159/000091610 - Pubmed citation
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- 5. Ohori NP, Sciurba FC, Owens GR et-al. Giant-cell interstitial pneumonia and hard-metal pneumoconiosis. A clinicopathologic study of four cases and review of the literature. Am. J. Surg. Pathol. 1989;13 (7): 581-7. Pubmed citation
- 6. Hargett CW, Sporn TA, Roggli VL et-al. Giant cell interstitial pneumonia associated with nitrofurantoin. Lung. 2006;184 (3): 147-9. Lung (full text) - doi:10.1007/s00408-005-2574-z - Pubmed citation
- 7. Nemery B, Verbeken EK, Demedts M. Giant cell interstitial pneumonia (hard metal lung disease, cobalt lung). Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2005;22 (04): 435-48. doi:10.1055/s-2001-17386 - Pubmed citation