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Youngest Patient Receives Treatment For Rare Lung Disease Using Novel Technique

CC0 / / Infant
Infant - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): An Indian doctor has claimed to have performed a novel Bronchoscopic Cryobiopsy Technique to treat a rare form of interstitial lung disease (ILD) for the first time in the world on an 11-month old infant. So far the youngest person treated using this procedure was a 7-year-old in Europe.

ILD is a progressive lung disorder which if not detected at an early stage can cause significant damage to the lungs. It often occurs in adults in the age group of 40 and above who are exposed to chemicals, fumes, fungal spores related to farming. This disease is also seen in people who suffer from various forms of arthritis as well. iIn children, however, it’s an extremely rare occurrence.  

“Recently there has been an increase in the trend of this disease in persons exposed to pigeons and poultry droppings also", Dr Tinku Joseph, Interventional Pulmonologist, at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in the southern Indian city of Kochi told Sputnik.

The technique was used on an 11-month old infant who has been suffering from recurrent respiratory infections, since it was three-months old. Despite multiple treatment modalities at different hospitals, the child's condition did not improve.

“After a multi-disciplinary consultation, we decided to extract a tissue from the lungs through Cryobiopsy for an accurate diagnosis and found the child was suffering from this rare type of ILD", said Dr Joseph. The baby is now recovering and improving. However, since this is a bith defect, it cannot be completely cured. But the quality of life of the affected child can be improved considerably by prolonging the prognosis, he added.

Diagnosis of ILD is often challenging and 90% cases require a lung biopsy which is a risky process. Cryobiopsy is a relatively new endoscopic technique used in extracting a bigger sample of lung tissue for biopsy and complete removal of tumours and aspirated foreign bodies of airways. In the traditional forceps biopsy, only 1mm-sized lung tissue could be extracted. Cryobiopsy can extract a tissue of about 1-2cm in size so that pathologists can give near accurate diagnosis.

There are about 250 variants of ILD, but with the exception of two variants, others, if diagnosed early are treatable.

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