FROM TIME to time both clinicians and pathologists encounter cases of diffuse pulmonary fibrosis of undetermined origin. Generally, these cases are characterized by a protracted clinical course without distinctive features. The postmortem examination usually reveals a nonspecific chronic inflammatory process with extensive organization of the alveolar structures. In decided contrast to these, Hamman and Rich1 described a group of 4 cases of pulmonary fibrosis in which both the symptoms and the anatomic findings were distinctive. The disease was usually of comparatively short duration, and the outstanding symptoms were those of weakness, increasing dyspnea, cyanosis and finally death in respiratory failure or failure of the right side of the heart. Even more striking than the clinical picture were the unusual anatomic findings. The lungs showed a diffuse, progressive proliferation of the alveolar connective tissue of a type not previously encountered either by them or by other observers.
The comparative rarity
POTTER BP, GERBER IE. ACUTE DIFFUSE INTERSTITIAL FIBROSIS OF THE LUNGS: Report of a Case. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1948;82(2):113–124. doi:10.1001/archinte.1948.00220260003001
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