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Demographics of Sporadic Obliterative Bronchiolitis

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Obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) is most common after transplantation or exposure to inhaled toxins but can also be idiopathic. A single institution review that also included a review of the literature found 113 total confirmed cases of OB of which 42% were idiopathic, 31% associated with connective tissue diseases, 15% associated with inhalation exposures, and the rest associated with other risk factors, such as polymyositis, pemphigus vulgaris, and lymphoma. Key findings included the following:

  • Middle-aged white women were most commonly affected.
  • All patients demonstrated expiratory air trapping on a chest CT scan.
  • Most patients were treated with corticosteroids (77%), followed by steroid-sparing agents (46%) and macrolides (22%).
  • Pulmonary function tests did not change significantly over long-term follow-up (median, ~4.5 years).
  • Any-cause mortality incidence was 82/1000 patient-years.
  • Eight of the 14 total deaths were due to respiratory failure or complications of immunosuppressive therapy.

Read more here.


Callahan SJ, Vranic A, Flors L, Hanley M, Stoler MH, Mehrad B. Sporadic obliterative bronchiolitis: case series and systematic review of the literature. Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2019;3(1):86-93. doi:10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2018.10.003.

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