A Cancer That Went Up in Smoke: Pulmonary Reaction to e-Cigarettes Imitating Metastatic Cancer

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Abstract

e-Cigarettes have gained worldwide popularity as a substitute for smoking, but concern has been raised regarding the long-term effects associated with their use. We report a case of a 45-year-old female consumer of e-cigarettes who presented with 4 months of abdominal pain and fever. Initial imaging discovered multiple pulmonary nodules and liver lesions suspicious of widespread metastases; however, an extensive evaluation found no evidence of malignancy. Results of a lung biopsy revealed an area with multinucleated giant cells suggestive of a foreign body reaction to a lipophilic material. Upon cessation of e-cigarette use (known as vaping), the lung nodules disappeared, and the liver lesions regressed. Our case report suggests that vaping can induce an inflammatory reaction mimicking metastatic cancer.

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