What is Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia?
Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia, also termed as BOOP disease, is a type of pneumonia which is noninfectious. It is caused due to a condition where the bronchioles and the tissues that surround it in the lungs get inflamed. Most of the times, it arises due to complications of a preexisting inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be caused by certain antiarrhythmic agents like amiodarone. Researchers have also given it the name of Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia. The characteristics the radiological studies may be similar to that of an infectious pneumonia but a diagnosis is confirmed when antibiotics become ineffective and cultures come back negative.
Symptoms of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia or Boop Disease
Typical symptoms of BOOP are fever, chills, lethargy, shortness of breath, cough, and loss of weight with chest x-ray that reveals alveoli in the lungs that are filled. Before an actual diagnosis of BOOP is made, many people have already undergone a series of antibiotics without help from their symptoms, as the symptoms with which they present are that common of an infection.
Causes of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia or Boop Disease
Generally BOOP is caused due to bacteria, virus, parasites etc. As mentioned above, certain antiarrhythmic medications like amiodarone also can cause BOOP. People with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions are at higher risk of developing this disease.
Diagnosis of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia or Boop Disease
Most of the people with BOOP have had symptoms for about a couple of months before they end up seeking medical advice. Routine laboratory studies do not reveal any abnormalities and the physical examination of the individual is also pretty much normal except for some rales noted on inspection of the lungs. PFTs conducted show lung capacity to be lower than normal. CT scan when done can identify BOOP and is a tool for definitive diagnosis of BOOP. Chest x-rays reveal white patches in the lungs.
Treatment of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia or Boop Disease
The most effective therapy for this disease is steroid therapy and most people recover from this disease by its use. The duration of the treatment with appropriate weaning period is approximately six months.
Prognosis of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia or Boop Disease
As mentioned above, steroid therapy results in complete resolution of the disease.