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Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Paediapaedia: Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemosiderosis Paediapaedia: Chest and Airway Diseases

Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemosiderosis

Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

Clinical Presentation:
Iron deficiency anemia and recurrent pulmonary symptoms including cough, hemoptysis, dyspnea, and wheezing. The radiological signs may precede the clinical symptoms.

Caused by diffuse alveolar hemorrhage with abnormal accumulation of hemosiderin in the lung. The etiology is unknown.

The diagnosis is made by seeing iron laden macrophages in the sputum, gastric washings, or bronchial washings.

Imaging Findings:
On film bilateral infiltrates that may be minimal or massive are seen.The infiltrates usually clear within a week. Atelectasis, emphysema, and hilar lymphadenopathy may also be present. The disease is progressive with repeated hemorrhagic episodes ultimately leading to the development of diffuse interstitial fibrosis in the lungs.


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