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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 851-852
Amiodarone induced pulmonary toxicity

Department of Radio-diagnosis, JLN Hospital & Research Centre, Bhilai Steel Plant, Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India

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Date of Submission19-Sep-2005
Date of Acceptance10-Jun-2006

Keywords: Amiodarone, HRCT

How to cite this article:
Dwivedi M K, Piparsania B, Issar P, Dewangan L. Amiodarone induced pulmonary toxicity. Indian J Radiol Imaging 2006;16:851-2

How to cite this URL:
Dwivedi M K, Piparsania B, Issar P, Dewangan L. Amiodarone induced pulmonary toxicity. Indian J Radiol Imaging [serial online] 2006 [cited 2020 Dec 5];16:851-2. Available from:

   Introduction Top

54 year old male patient had history of cough and dyspnoea, he also had history of refractory ventricular arrhythemia and was treated with amiodarone for about 4 months. The patient was initially investigated by Chest X-ray then by CT Scan (Thorax). Chest X-ray revealed areas of patchy opacities and diffuse infilterates, which are non-specific in nature [Figure - 1].

CT Scan of thorax was performed in Hi Speed Fx-i GE Scanner revealed multiple areas of ground glass haziness and thickening of interlobular septa, distorted architexture due to fibrosis was also seen [Figure - 2],[Figure - 3],[Figure 4]

   Discussion Top

Pulmonary toxicity has been described in association with multitude of therapeutic drugs. Drug reaction in lung may produce varying radiographic pattern. Recognition of this pattern is crucial to the role of Radiologist, early recognition is important because many of these drug reactions are reversible and will regress after withdrawal of the agent [2].

Amiodarone is an iodinated compound used to treat life threatening cardiac dysrhythemias, pulmonary toxicity occurs in 5 to 10% of treated patients [4]. Toxicity is dose related and is more likely to occur with doses greater than 400 mg/day [5].

   On Conventional Radiograph Top

Most patient with amiodarone pulmonary toxicity shows areas of consolidation, infiltration or interstitial disease, findings are usually non-specific. [2].

   On H R C T Top

A distinctive feature of amiodarone toxicity is occurrence of focal homogenous pulmonary toxicity that are typically peripheral in location and of high attenuation [4]. CT attenuation value ranged from 82 to 174 H.U. [2]. High attenuation parenchymal pleural lesion consists of wedge shaped consolidation or areas of focal atelectasis with adjacent pleural reaction [2].

Non-specific infiltrates consists of increased interstitial markings [2]. High attenuation value of CT is due to high concentration of drug within the lung macrophagus and alveolar type II pneumocytes [2] and due to extremely long half-life.

When amiodarone is collected with in giant lysosome and form characteristic lamellar inclusion bodies, are identified in both asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, being treated with amidarone and merely indicate exposure to drug, not necessarily toxicity [2].

The continuation of high attenuation abnormalities within lung, liver or spleen are characteristics of amidarone toxicity.

Differential diagnosis of peripheral paranchymal pleural changes are pulmonary infract and acute pulmonary haemorrhage and have characteristic CT appearance and CT Value.

CT finding of high attenuation parenchymal pleural changes are a sign of amiodarone lung damage and angiography is rarely required.

   Conclusion Top

Familiarity with Chest Radiographic and CT appearance of amiodarone toxicity will enable the radiologist to suggest the possibility of drug induced pulmonary toxicity.

   References Top

1.Kuhlman JE et al, Scatarige KC, Fishman EK , Zerhouni EA, Siegelman SS. CT Demonstration of high attenuation pleural parenchymal lesions due to amiodorone therapy. Journal of Computer assisted Tomography 1987; 11: 160 - 162.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Janet E Kuhlman et al, M D Coney Teigen M D, Hua Ren M D, Ralph H, Hurban MD, Grover M, Hutchins MD, Elliot K, Fisherman MD. Amiodorone Pulmonary Toxicity CT findings in symptomatic patients. Radiology 1990; 177; 121 - 125.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Rossi et al. Pulmonary Drug Toxicity - Radiologic and Pathologic Manifestation. Radiographics 2000; 20; 1245 - 1259.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Teveras JM et al, Feruees JT (eds) Philadelphia PA Lippincolt. Drug Induced Disorders of Chest. Radiology, 1986; Vol. 1; pp 8.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Judith M Aronchick and Warren B Gefte et al. Drug induced pulmonary disorders. Seminars in Reontogenology, Vol. XXX, No. 1, Jan. 1995; 18 - 34.  Back to cited text no. 5    

Correspondence Address:
M K Dwivedi
Qr.No. 1/A, Street 05, Sector - 9, Bhilai, Chhattisgarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-3026.32365

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  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3]


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