Mineral oil pneumonia may be defined as the inflammatory, granulomatous, and fibrotic reaction of the lung to the aspiration of mineral oil. It is to be differentiated from endogenous lipoid pneumonias such as cholesterol pneumonia (resulting from the breakdown of bound intracellular lipids secondary to suppuration), fat embolism, and lipoid histiocytoses affecting the lung (1-3).
The importance of aspirated oils in the production of pulmonary lesions was first recognized in animals, in 1920 (4, 5). In 1925, Laughlen (6) described 4 cases in man, due to mineral oil. Numerous case reports, postmortem findings, and reviews have appeared since (7-13).