Use of e-cigarette or vaping products, which may contain nicotine and tetrahydrocannabinol, has been blamed for an outbreak of lung disease that hit the U.S. starting in August. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) reported from 49 states and one U.S. territory had risen to 1,888 as of end-October.
EVALI is a diagnosis of exclusion because, as the CDC points out, currently there are no specific tests or markers for its diagnosis. As such, the CDC has issued its "Recommendations for Clinicians", which encourage physicians to report possible cases of e-cigarette or vaping-associated pulmonary disease to their local or state health department.
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For its part, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) has urged its members to review medical images related to possible cases. And to heighten awareness among radiologists and other medical professionals on how to identify EVALI, one of the RSNA's journals, Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging, has published a special report on lung injury resulting from the use of e-cigarettes or vaping. The journal report reviews recent cases of e-cigarette-associated lung injury from the literature.
The society has also released a video – available on YouTube HERE – through which Jeffrey S. Klein, MD, an RSNA Board member, explains what radiologists should know about vaping-associated lung injury.
As of 29 October, there were 37 deaths linked to EVALI that were reported from 24 states, according to the CDC, which has developed coding guidance for healthcare encounters related to EVALI. The new guidelines are contained in the "International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM)-Supplement".
Source: Radiological Society of North America; CDC