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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fatal pulmonary reaction from low doses of bleomycin. An idiosyncratic tissue response.

There were two cases of fatal interstitial pneumonia secondary to bleomycin sulfate administration. Although bleomycin pulmonary toxicity is generally thought to be dose-related and occurs infrequently with a total cummulative dose less than 300 to 400 units, the two reactions reported here occurred with doses of 105 and 165 units. Fatal bleomycin-induced pneumonia has been previously reported at these low dosages, and physicians should be aware that this toxic reaction may occur as an idiosyncratic response. Previous thoracic irradiation may be a predisposing factor. Patients receiving bleomycin should be meticulously monitored by interrogation for cough, dyspnea, and chest pain; by auscultation for rales; by serial chest roentgenograms; and by determinations of vital capacity and single-breath carbon monoxide diffusing capacity.[1]


  1. Fatal pulmonary reaction from low doses of bleomycin. An idiosyncratic tissue response. Iacovino, J.R., Leitner, J., Abbas, A.K., Lokich, J.J., Snider, G.L. JAMA (1976) [Pubmed]
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