View Full Version : I want to know, but am unsure who to ask, medical type knowledge needed

03-10-2011, 07:43 PM
if a man aspirated an unknown quantity of olive oil every day for thirteen years, what might be the state of his lungs?

03-10-2011, 09:19 PM
My first guess would be New York State - in Little Italy.

03-10-2011, 10:20 PM
You probably mean inhale (I think). Olive oil is not very volatile, so it would need some mechanism to make it airborne. If it was because it had been used in frying, then there are lots of more dangerous reaction products to worry about. If it was because it was bubbling, then it all depends on the size of the droplets formed. You can't really answer the question without being specific about the level and type of exposure.

03-10-2011, 10:41 PM
Multiple granulomas would likely form in the lungs.

The end result might be fibrous tissue (detected by X-ray and especially MRI) all over his lungs, probably more in the lower areas. His lung capacity might fall considerably, and he would probably have short breath at least during exercise, and would cough repeatedly.

I can't imagine the condition would become apparent only after 13 years, though.

Acute olive oil aspiration causes pneumonia in children:

03-11-2011, 12:07 AM
Lipoid pneumonia can affect adults as well as children (it's sometimes known as 'golden' pneumonia) It's a relatively rare condition. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing and bloody sputum. A scan would usually pick up fibrosis in the lungs and sometimes lesions.

The condition is usually treated with steroids and the patient will be given ongoing supportive care. As far as I know, there are usually no long term issues in otherwise healthy patients.

Here's a very useful .pdf case study of several cases of lipoid pneumonia: http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/reprint/136/6/1145.pdf

03-11-2011, 04:29 AM
Thanks so much!