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June 1974

Radiological Case of the Month

Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(6):875-876. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110250101015

Clinical History.—A 19-month-old boy, who had been in good health, drank some charcoal lighter fluid. He was taken to a hospital emergency room and gastric lavage was performed.

Several hours later, he developed a high fever, tachypnea, and cough and was referred to Valley Children's Hospital, Fresno, Calif.

Physical Examination.—He appeared to be acutely ill and was coughing.

The positive findings were limited to the chest in which coarse rhonchi were heard bilaterally. A chest roentgenogram was obtained (Fig 1). His clinical symptoms and physical findings improved, and after ten days, he was completely asymptomatic and a second chest roentgenogram was obtained (Fig 2).

Denouement and Discussion 

Pneumatocele Formation Following Hydrocarbon Pneumonitis  Petroleum distillate products found around the home continue to be a major cause of accidental poisoning in children.1 Involvement of the respiratory tract is due to aspiration of these products.

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