Medication-induced Pulmonary Injury: A Scenario-and Pattern-based Approach to a Perplexing Problem

Shravan Sridhar, Jeffrey P. Kanne, Travis S. Henry, Jonathan W. Revels, Michael B. Gotway, Loren H. Ketai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medication-induced pulmonary injury (MIPI) is a complex medical condition that has become increasingly common yet remains stubbornly difficult to diagnose. Diagnosis can be aided by com-bining knowledge of the most common imaging patterns caused by MIPI with awareness of which medications a patient may be exposed to in specific clinical settings. The authors describe six imaging patterns commonly associated with MIPI: sarcoidosis-like, diffuse ground-glass opacities, organizing pneumonia, centrilobu-lar ground-glass nodules, linear-septal, and fibrotic. Subsequently, the occurrence of these patterns is discussed in the context of five different clinical scenarios and the medications and medication classes typically used in those scenarios. These scenarios and medication classes include the rheumatology or gastrointestinal clinic (disease-modifying antirheumatic agents), cardiology clinic (antiarrhythmics), hematology clinic (cytotoxic agents, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, retinoids), oncology clinic (immune modulators, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies), and inpatient service (antibiotics, blood products). Additionally, the article draws comparisons between the appearance of MIPI and the alterna-tive causes of lung disease typically seen in those clinical scenarios (eg, connective tissue disease–related interstitial lung disease in the rheumatology clinic and hydrostatic pulmonary edema in the cardiology clinic). Familiarity with the most common imaging patterns associated with frequently administered medications can help insert MIPI into the differential diagnosis of acquired lung disease in these scenarios. However, confident diagnosis is often thwarted by absence of specific diagnostic tests for MIPI. Instead, a working diagnosis typically relies on multidisciplinary consensus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-55
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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