Listen to Dr. Epler talk about BOOP. 


Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia (BOOP) is inflammation of the bronchioles and surrounding lung tissue. 

Bronchiolitis is inflammation of the bronchioles, which are small airways that transport air into the lungs. They are less than one to two millimeters in diameter, and there are over 200,000 of them. The surfaces of these small airways become inflamed, which is called bronchiolitis. 

Obliterans is the inflammation in these small airways that completely fills up the airway and obliterates the airway with inflammation.  

Organizing means inflammation cells in the lung form a pattern that has an organized appearance.

Pneumonia is inflammation of the rounded structures in the lung where oxygen exchange takes place and these are called alveoli. There are millions of them, and when unfolded, they create an area the size of a tennis court. When these structures fill with inflammation cells, it is called pneumonia.

Cough and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms. Fever may also occur.  Crackles are abnormal sounds that may be heard through the stethoscope. The chest x-ray shows patchy shadows in both lungs. The computerized CT scan shows hazy round-glass shadows in both lungs, and the airways may be seen through these ground-glass opacities. These shadows are often in the form of triangles. The pulmonary function tests show a decrease in the vital capacity or volume of the lungs. There is no airflow obstruction. The diffusing capacity which measures the oxygen uptake by the blood is often decreased. Prednisone, which is a corticosteroid medication, is a powerful anti-inflammation medication given for treatment. Most individuals with typical BOOP are cured.