Heat-not-burn cigarettes induce fulminant acute eosinophilic pneumonia requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Toshiyuki Aokage, Kohei Tsukahara, Yasushi Fukuda, Fumiaki Tokioka, Akihiko Taniguchi, Hiromichi Naito, Atsunori Nakao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although the cause of acute eosinophilic pneumonia (AEP) has not yet been fully clarified, cigarette smoking is reported to be a risk factor for developing AEP. The heat-not-burn cigarette (HNBC) was developed to reduce the adverse effects of smoke on the user's surroundings. However, the health risks associated with HNBCs have not yet been clarified. We report a successfully treated case of fatal AEP presumably induced by HNBC use. Presentation of case: A 16-year-old man commenced HNBC smoking two weeks before admission and subsequently suffered from shortness of breath that gradually worsened. The patient was transferred to emergency department and immediately intubated because of respiratory failure. Computed tomography showed mosaic ground-glass shadows on the distal side of both lungs with a PaO2/FIO2 ratio of 76. The patient required veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for severe respiratory failure. He was diagnosed with AEP by clinical course and detection of eosinophils in sputum; thus, methylprednisolone was administrated. The patient was weaned off ECMO four days after initiation and extubated the day after. He fully recovered without sequelae. Conclusion: As far as we know, our patient is the first case of AEP induced by HNBC use successfully treated with ECMO. Emergency physicians must be aware that HNBCs can induce fatal AEP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-90
Number of pages4
JournalRespiratory Medicine Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Acute eosinophilic pneumonia
  • Cigarettes
  • ECMO
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Heat-not-burn cigarettes
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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