Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP) is a rare inflammatory lung condition of the small airways (bronchioles) and nearby lung tissue. It can settle in a small section of the lung or spread throughout the respiratory organ. BOOP differs from other comparable inflammatory lung disorders in that its sufferers experience inflammation of the bronchioles and air sacs at the same time. People of all ages can contract this atypical lung condition.
Defining Boop Lung Disease
Bronchiolitis obliterans is the term used to describe the buildup of fibrous, granulation tissue that develop in the bronchiole, which obstructs the air flow.
Organizing pneumonia defines the unusual and distinct structure of the cells of the air sacs and air ducts.
The Mayo Clinic points out that BOOP is in no way tied to infection or lung cancer.
Symptoms of BOOP
The signs and symptoms of BOOP may intensify over a period of weeks. They can include a chronic cough, fever, and breathing problems especially during exertion as well as flu-like symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic says in some cases of BOOP, there may not be any indication of the condition and it may only be discovered during a chest X-ray for an unrelated reason.
There are several recognized known causes of BOOP. They include some connective tissue disorders including lupus, radiation treatment for breast cancer, bone marrow transplants and some medications.
Several industrial toxins and environmental pollutants also have been connected with BOOP.
Despite these identified causes, most cases of BOOP seem to occur for no particular reason.
It can be difficult to diagnose bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia. A doctor may be able to confirm the existence of the condition based on high-resolution computerized tomography (CT) scan of the lungs, a biopsy of lung tissue that will be studied under a microscope as well as gathering and reviewing your personal medical history.
Treatment options for BOOB vary but they may include a steroid medication such as prednisone. For some patients, steroids help reduce inflammation and cause a significant improvement.
According to the Annals of Thoracic Medicine, one third of patients treated with prednisone for fewer than 12 months suffered from a recurrence. However, BOOP can be repeatedly treated with the original therapeutic dosage level of prednisone.