Tuberc Respir Dis.  2008 Aug;65(2):142-146.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome after Topotecan Therapy in a Patient with Small Cell Lung Cancer

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Radiology, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Small cell lung cancer is characterized by an aggressive clinical course and a high tendency for early dissemination in spite of a good chemotherapy response. Topotecan is a topoisomerase I inhibitor, and it is used as second-line treatment for small cell lung cancer. The reported dose-limiting adverse reactions to topotecan are mainly hematologic. Yet pulmonary toxicity associated with topotecan is known to be rare. We report here on a case that showed the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome during the 3rd cycle of topotecan chemotherapy in a patient with small cell lung cancer. He developed dyspnea and respiratory failure, and the chest CT scan revealed diffuse ground-glass opacity that was probably due to chemotherapy-related pulmonary toxicity. He finally died of acute respiratory distress syndrome.


Small cell carcinoma; Topotecan; Acute respiratory distress syndrome
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