What is it?

Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP) is a type of interstitial lung disease in which there is an inflammation of the bronchioles (small airways) and the alveoli, the air sacs. Its name is confusing as it is not all an infection, rather, an inflammation of tissue. The reason for COP is usually unknown, but possible reasons may include radiation therapy or chemical exposures. COP has been also linked to lung cancer, lymphoma and abscess.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms include dry cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, fatigue, and weight loss.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination, but it is not an easy diagnosis to be made. Further evaluation may include chest X-ray, and sometimes surgical lung biopsy is needed.


Treatment includes corticosteroids which helps most people with COP. If not, cytotoxic drugs such as cyclophosphamide may help.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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