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A Cancer That Went Up in Smoke: Pulmonary Reaction to e-Cigarettes Imitating Metastatic Cancer

Lene Ring Madsen, MD; Niels Henrik Vinther Krarup, MD, PhD; Troels Korshøj Bergmann, MD, PhD; Steen Bærentzen, MD; Shadman Neghabat, MD; Lone Duval, MD, PhD; Søren Tang Knudsen, MD, PhD, DMSc
Author and Funding Information

FUNDING/SUPPORT: The authors have reported to CHEST that no funding was received for this study.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Lene Ring Madsen, MD, Department of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, Aarhus University Hospital, Nørrebrogade 44, DK-8000 Aarhus C


Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2016;149(3):e65-e67. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2015.09.003
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e-Cigarettes have gained worldwide popularity as a substitute for smoking, but concern has been raised regarding the long-term effects associated with their use. We report a case of a 45-year-old female consumer of e-cigarettes who presented with 4 months of abdominal pain and fever. Initial imaging discovered multiple pulmonary nodules and liver lesions suspicious of widespread metastases; however, an extensive evaluation found no evidence of malignancy. Results of a lung biopsy revealed an area with multinucleated giant cells suggestive of a foreign body reaction to a lipophilic material. Upon cessation of e-cigarette use (known as vaping), the lung nodules disappeared, and the liver lesions regressed. Our case report suggests that vaping can induce an inflammatory reaction mimicking metastatic cancer.

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