Eosinophilic Pneumonia Associated with Bleomycin in a Patient with Mediastinal Seminoma: A Case Report

Sanjaykumar Hapani; David Chu; Shenhong Wu


J Med Case Reports 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Introduction: Lung toxicities resulting from the chemotherapeutic agent bleomycin encompass a variety of pathological changes, including bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia, interstitial pneumonitis and progressive interstitial fibrosis. We report a rare case of eosinophilic pneumonia associated with bleomycin.
Case presentation: A 44-year-old Hispanic man with a primary mediastinal seminoma complicated by superior vena cava syndrome underwent treatment with four cycles of bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin. He had a complete positive response to the chemotherapy. However, three months after treatment he presented with shortness of breath and severe hypoxemia associated with peripheral eosinophilia. Computed tomography showed bilateral diffuse interstitial infiltrates that were refractory to antibiotic treatment. A lung biopsy showed eosinophilic pneumonia. He was subsequently treated with high-dose prednisone, resulting in a complete resolution of his symptoms and lung infiltrates.
Conclusion: This case illustrates that eosinophilic pneumonia may be a late sequela of bleomycin toxicity, and may respond dramatically to steroid treatment.


Bleomycin is an antineoplastic agent derived from Streptomyces verticillus, and is widely used in the treatment of testicular carcinoma, Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as well as squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. However it has well-known pulmonary toxicities, including diffuse alveolar damage, bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP), interstitial pneumonitis, and progressive interstitial fibrosis.[1] This report illustrates a rare case of severe bleomycin-associated eosinophilic pneumonia (EP) that responded to steroid treatment.


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