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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-60

Idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis: Alveoli are an answer to anemia

1 Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Chest Clinic, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pathology, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Division, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
M S Tullu
Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Chest Clinic, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.74290

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Idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis (IPH) is a rare disorder (triad of iron-deficiency anemia, hemoptysis, and alveolar infiltrates). A 3-year-old male presented with mild fever, breathlessness, dry cough, and bluish nail discoloration for 8 days. He had required five blood transfusions in the past 1 year (last transfusion was given 4 months ago). He had a respiratory rate of 58/min with respiratory distress, cyanosis, and grade III clubbing. Respiratory system examination was normal. Several previous reports of hemoglobin were as low as 3.6 g/dl with hypochromic and microcytic anemia. There were transient increases in the hemoglobin and normalization of red cell morphology with blood transfusions. Serum iron, G6PD enzyme assay, hemoglobin electrophoresis, the sickling test, Coomb's test, stool and urine analysis, and a Meckel's scan were normal. HIV antibody and dsDNA were negative. The chest radiograph revealed symmetrical patchy infiltrates sparing lung apices (confirmed on high-resolution computed tomography). Lung biopsy diagnosed pulmonary hemosiderosis (interstitial lung disease with hemosiderin-laden macrophages scattered in the alveoli and areas of fibrosis in the alveolar septa). The patient showed marked clinical improvement in 10 days of therapy with prednisolone. IPH should be listed in the differential diagnosis of a child presenting with unexplained hypochromic, microcytic anemia and respiratory symptoms.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow