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Importance of Diffuse Aspiration Bronchiolitis Caused by Chronic Occult Aspiration in the Elderly FREE TO VIEW

Takeshi Matsuse; Yoshinosuke Fukuchi; Teruaki Oka; Kozui Kida
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Affiliations: From the Department of Geriatrics, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatrics Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan,  From the Department of Pathology, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatrics Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan,  From the Department of Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, and Pulmonary Division, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatrics Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

Affiliations: From the Department of Geriatrics, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatrics Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan,  From the Department of Pathology, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatrics Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan,  From the Department of Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, and Pulmonary Division, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatrics Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

Affiliations: From the Department of Geriatrics, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatrics Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan,  From the Department of Pathology, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatrics Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan,  From the Department of Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, and Pulmonary Division, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatrics Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan


1996 by the American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 1996;110(5):1289-1293. doi:10.1378/chest.110.5.1289
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Abstract

Diffuse aspiration bronchiolitis (DAB) is a new term that we proposed to define a clinical entity that is characterized by a chronic inflammation of bronchioles caused by recurrent aspiration of foreign particles. In the present study, a total of 4,880 consecutive autopsies were reviewed and we found 31 patients with DAB (0.64%). To investigate the clinicopathologic features of DAB, the 23 patients with DAB (age, 81.2±6.2 years [mean±SD]), from whom clinical information was available, had their features compared to those of 40 randomly selected patients with aspiration pneumonia (age, 81.9±8.3 years [mean±SD]). Oropharyngeal dysphagia was observed in half of the patients with DAB, and two thirds of patients with DAB were bedridden. The onset of DAB was more insidious than aspiration pneumonia, and in half of the patients with DAB episodes of aspiration were unrecognized. Neurologic disorders (52.2%) and dementia (47.8%) were common associated diseases. Most patients with DAB showed signs of bronchorrhea, bronchospasm, and dyspnea. The macroscopic appearance of the cut surface of DAB lung showed diffusely scattered miliary yellowish nodules that resembled those of diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB). Histologic findings of DAB were characterized by localization of chronic mural inflammation with foreign body reaction in bronchioles. Recurrence of small amounts of aspiration might play a role in the pathogenesis of DAB. In view of possible therapeutic intervention, we emphasized the importance of recognizing this entity and differentiating DAB from pulmonary diseases associated with bronchospasm in the elderly, in particular, late-onset asthma and DPB.


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