Giant cell interstitial pneumonia

Giant cell interstitial pneumonia is a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis. It is currently considered a 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

Article information

rID: 20953
System: Chest
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Giant cell interstitial pneumonitis
  • Giant cell interstitial pneumonias
  • Giant cell interstitial pneumonia (GIP)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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