ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

Radiation induced lung disease: A risk to assume


Radiation induced lung disease (RILD) is an important complication of thoracic irradiation for different forms of intrathoracic malignancies.
The incidence of RILD varies and it is influenced by the total dose administered, the degree of fractionation, the radiation field and prior chemotherapy. There are two phases of the disease: acute (radiation pneumonitis) and chronic (radiation fibrosis). We present the case of a 86 yo woman who was admitted for progressive dyspnea.
She had a history of right breast cancer diagnosed in 2009, treated with chemo and radiotherapy, arterial hypertension, permanent atrial fibrillation and diabetes mellitus.
The high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scan revealed pericardial fluid, bilateral pleural effusion (more important on the right) and a round, imprecisely delimited opacity in the right lung upper lobe. The opacity had similar characteristics when compared to previous chest X-rays. The patient was diagnosed with heart failure and RILD. Under treatment with beta blocker, calcium antagonist, diuretic, anticoagulant and oxigenotherapy the evolution was favorable, the patient being discharged 5 days later.
In front of a suspicion of a RILD we should always keep in mind to differentiate it from recurrent malignancy or superimposed infection.

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