'Crack' cocaine-induced syndrome mimicking sarcoidosis

Peter V. Dicpinigaitis, Joan G. Jones, Michael M. Frymus, Vaughn W. Folkert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A 39-year-old man with a history of frequent 'crack' cocaine use of several years' duration presented with progressive dyspnea. Evaluation revealed bilateral interstitial pulmonary infiltrates and hilar adenopathy, diffuse pulmonary uptake of gallium, and markedly elevated serum angiotensin- converting enzyme activity. Open lung biopsy revealed interstitial and perivascular collections of histiocytes containing refractile, polarizable material, presumably inhaled along with the cocaine. Paratracheal lymph nodes were enlarged, reactive, and contained similar polarizable material. The well-formed, non-necrotizing granulomata characteristic of sarcoidosis were not present in either tissue specimen. To our knowledge, the association of chronic crack cocaine inhalation with this constellation of clinical findings, typically seen in sarcoidosis, has not previously been described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-418
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999


  • Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)
  • Crack cocaine
  • Gallium scan
  • Lung diseases, interstitial
  • Sarcoidosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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