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October 1970

Desquamative Interstitial Pneumonia in a 7-Week-Old Infant

Author Affiliations

San Diego; La Jolla, Calif
From the Pediatric Service, Medical Corps, US Navy, US Naval Hospital, San Diego, Calif (Dr. Buchta), and Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, Calif (Drs. Park and Giammona).

Am J Dis Child. 1970;120(4):341-343. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100090115013

An infant of 7 weeks of age with desquamative interstitial pneumonia (DIP) is the youngest documented patient with this condition. The patient presented with cough, respiratory difficulty, diffuse infiltrates on roentgenograph examination, and marked eosinophilia on peripheral smear. Cultures from various sources failed to grow significant organisms, and the patient's condition deteriorated in spite of antibiotic therapy. Five weeks after the onset of symptoms, an open-lung biopsy was performed and characteristic findings of DIP were seen: a massive proliferation and desquamation of pneumocytes into the alveolar spaces. The infant's response to prednisone therapy was dramatic. This case illustrates the need for prompt and aggressive measures to obtain a diagnosis in a child with nonresponsive pulmonary disease.