Reactive Eosinophilic Pulmonary Vascular Infiltration in Patients with Spontaneous Pneumothorax

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Prominent nonnecrotizing eosinophilic inflammation of muscular pulmonary arteries was seen in resected lung tissue from two patients with spontaneous pneumothorax. Other histologic features included reactive eosinophilic pleuritis (REP) and fibrobullous disease. Eosinophilic vascular infiltration was not contiguous to REP. In neither patient was there a specific and recognized cause of eosinophilic vasculitis. Both patients are without pulmonary symptoms 1 and 4 years after pneumothorax. Eosinophilic vascular infiltration initially suggested the diagnosis of allergic angiitis or pulmonary eosinophilic granuloma. These diagnoses were excluded by clinical and morphologic data. We subsequently reviewed 30 cases of lung tissue resected from patients with pneumothorax and found REP in 18 patients (60%) and mild pulmonary vascular and perivascular eosinophilia in five patients (17%). REP was present in all cases with eosinophilic vascular infiltration. We conclude that this eosinophilic vascular lesion is an unusual reaction in patients with REP and pneumothorax. Occasionally this lesion mimics allergic angiitis or eosinophilic granuloma. The pathogenesis is probably related to vascular transport of eosinophils to the injured pleural surface.

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