Methamphetamine-Induced Lung Injury

  • Eilis McCarthy Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  • Erik McClain Thames Hospital, Waikato, New Zealand


Methamphetamine-induced lung injury


Methamphetamine is a substance of abuse that is most commonly smoked. Both regular and non-regular use can cause toxic injury to the lung parenchyma, the signs and symptoms of which are non-specific. Clinical scenarios include non-cardiac pulmonary oedema, acute respiratory distress syndrome, alveolar haemorrhage, pneumonia and pneumoconiosis. As radiological imaging is often non-specific, a positive history of methamphetamine use is the only way to reach a definite diagnosis. The use of methamphetamine is now increasing in Europe, so it is important as physicians to be aware of this differential diagnosis in patients in respiratory distress with risk factors for illicit drug use.



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  • Wells SM, Buford MC, Braseth SN, Hutchison JD, Holian A. Acute inhalation exposure to vaporized methamphetamine causes lung injury in mice. Inhal Toxicol 2008;20(9):829–838.

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  • Published: 2019-06-17

    Issue: Vol 6 No 6 (view)

    Section: Articles

    How to cite:
    McCarthy, E., & McClain, E. (2019). Methamphetamine-Induced Lung Injury. European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine, 6(6).