• Reviewed on 2/10
    By Dr. Fernandez-Perez

Bronchiolitis Obliterans: Overview


Bronchiolitis obliterans is an inflammatory obstruction of the lung's tiniest airways, called bronchioles. The bronchioles become damaged and inflamed by chemical particles or respiratory infections, particularly after organ transplants, leading to extensive scarring that blocks the airways.

 

Causes

The disease can be caused by breathing in irritant fumes, such as chlorine, ammonia, oxides of nitrogen or sulfur dioxide. Diacetyl, a chemical used to provide butter flavor in many foods, has also been suspected of causing bronchiolitis obliterans in workers who manufacture it or mix it into foods, such as butter-flavored popcorn. Bronchiolitis obliterans also can result from respiratory infections, a connective tissue disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis, a hormone producing lung disease such as neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia, a medication reaction and after a bone marrow, lung or heart-lung transplant. Also, the disease may be idiopathic (without a known cause).

Another similarly named disease, bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia, is a completely different disease.



More Bronchiolitis Obliterans Information


Request an Appt.
Refer a Patient

1-877-CALL NJH
(877-225-5654)

Connect with Us Online


Become our fan on facebook!   Subscribe to our YouTube channel!   Follow us on Twitter!   Subscribe to our News RSS feed.

eNewsletters and More

Environmental and Occupational Health Services


National Jewish Health provides comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients with a broad range of occupational/environmental lung diseases, including bronchiolitis obliterans. 

Learn more.