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September 1939


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;64(3):586-589. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00190030179013

Pneumonia due to the aspiration of oily preparations into the lungs was first described by Laughlen1 in 1925. Subsequently other reports have appeared, so that in 1936 Ikeda2 was able to collect 24 references to this condition.

Lipoid pneumonia usually occurs in debilitated infants or children, although its occurrence in adults has been described. In the majority of instances the patient suffers from some condition which makes occasional aspiration of materials from the pharynx practically inevitable. The substances which cause the trouble most frequently are nose drops and laxatives containing petrolatum. Cod liver oil, milk, and cream are responsible occasionally.

Lipoid pneumonia occurring in infants or children is referred to as the infantile type of the disease. In adults the pneumonia sometimes develops slowly over a period of years and forms a localized dense fibrous area. This is known as lipoid pneumonia of the adult type. In the