Giant cell interstitial pneumonia in a hard-metal worker. Cytologic, histologic and analytical electron microscopic investigation.
A case of biopsy-proven giant cell interstitial pneumonia in a patient with occupational exposure to hard-metal dust is reported. Bronchial washings performed several days prior to open-lung biopsy yielded an almost exclusive population of nonpigmented alveolar macrophages and pleomorphic, phagocytic multinucleated giant cells. Microorganisms, viral inclusions in the giant cells, epithelioid histiocytes and well-formed granulomas were not seen. This cytologic picture strongly suggests the presence of giant cell interstitial pneumonia in a patient with restrictive lung disease, particularly when exposure to hard-metal dust is known or suspected. A specific diagnosis early in the course of the disease may facilitate removal of the individual from the workplace and forestall the development of end-stage interstitial fibrosis. Additionally, the working environment may be modified to minimize inhalational exposure. Recognition of this entity by the cytopathologist may direct diagnostic efforts toward accurate histologic evaluation and the identification of particulates by microprobe analysis of either cellular or biopsy material.
Tabatowski, K; Roggli, VL; Fulkerson, WJ; Langley, RL; Benning, T; Johnston, WW
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