Illicit narcotic injection masquerading as acute pulmonary embolism Article (Web of Science)


  • A 23-year-old male presented from a nursing home with hypotension, tachycardia, diaphoresis and electrocardiographic evidence of right ventricular strain that was confirmed by echocardiography. His differential diagnosis included sepsis and pulmonary embolism. A high-resolution computed tomography scan demonstrated no pulmonary emboli but did demonstrate multiple bilateral pulmonary nodules. Upon questioning he admitted to injecting a long-acting narcotic that had been manually macerated, dissolved in saline, and injected through an indwelling intravenous line. Lung biopsy findings were consistent with cellulose-induced perivascular granulomatosis. Cellulose granulomatosis can be seen in patients who inject medications designed for oral use and should be considered in patients who present with acute pulmonary hypertension.


publication date

  • 2013

published in

number of pages

  • 2

start page

  • 92

end page

  • 94


  • 18


  • 2