August 14, 2012

Cytotoxic drugs leading to pulmonary disease

Vascular abnormalities are a known side effect of several cytotoxic drugs. Which of the following cytotoxic drugs is most likely to lead to pulmonary veno-occlusive disease?

a) bleomycin
b) 5-fluorouracil
c) taxoids
d) cyclopentenyl cytosine
e) trastuzumab

The correct answer is A

There are at least 40 drugs which may produce adverse pulmonary effects.

The more common ones are bleomycin, busulfan, mitomycin, BCNU, arabinoside, IL2 and methotrexate.

The clinical features are dyspnoea, cough, pulmonary infiltrates, basal inspiratory crackles, and, rarely, pleural friction rub, pleural effusions, pulmonary fibrosis and eosinophilia.

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