Adult bronchiolitis historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1];Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Hadeel Maksoud M.D.[2]


Bronchiolitis was first described by the university of Minnesota in 1899, however, in 1900, Dr. Lange, a German physician described precise pathology and possible etiologies in two of his patients and therefore, established bronchiolitis as a separate pathological entity. In 1904, an association between bronchiolitis and several risk factors were made. Later in the 1980s, bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome was identified as a complication of organ transplants. In 1983, the classification of adult bronchiolitis was expanded by the addition of diffuse panbronchiolitis. Recently, workers in popcorn factories and individuals that vape have been diagnosed with popcorn lung disease (bronchiolitis obliterans, a subtype of adult bronchiolitis).

Historical Perspective


  • The university of Minnesota in 1899 was first to describe bronchiolitis.[1][2]
  • One year later in 1900, Dr. Lange, a German physician, establishes a distinct pathological entity known as bronchiolitis.
  • In 1985, bronchiolitis obliterans-organizing pneumonia (BOOP) is distinguished as a condition separate from typical bronchiolitis.
  • The association between inhalated irritants and bronchiolitis was made in 1904.
  • In 1982, 1984 and 1989, obliterative bronchiolitis (bronchiolitis subtype) was identified as a complication of bone marrow, heart-lung and single lung transplant respectively.
  • In 1983, Japanese researchers described diffuse panbronchiolitis, as subtype of bronchiolitis.

Impact on Cultural History

The recent trend of vaping, in particular flavored vapors, has lead to an increased incidence of popcorn lung, also known as obliterative bronchiolitis (bronchiolitis obliterans).


  1. Roca J, Grañeña A, Rodriguez-Roisin R, Alvarez P, Agusti-Vidal A, Rozman C (January 1982). "Fatal airway disease in an adult with chronic graft-versus-host disease". Thorax. 37 (1): 77–8. PMC 459252. PMID 7071798.
  2. Homma H, Yamanaka A, Tanimoto S, Tamura M, Chijimatsu Y, Kira S, Izumi T (January 1983). "Diffuse panbronchiolitis. A disease of the transitional zone of the lung". Chest. 83 (1): 63–9. PMID 6848335.