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This is an information website about Cryptogenic Organising Pneumonitis (COP) and BOOP (Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organising Pneumonia) for health professionals as well as sufferers of the disease and their supporter/families. COP/BOOP is a rapidly developing pneumonia-like illness characterised by lung inflammation and scarring that obstruct the small airways and air sacs of the lungs (alveoli). Its name is derived from the fact that it closely mimics pneumonia infections. The COP name is generally used in Europe and the term BOOP  in N America but they are effectively the same disease.

Patient with COP before treatment Patient with COP after 10 weeks of treatment starting at 60mg per day Prednisolone
Above: Chest X-Ray of patient S; 54 year-old male with recently diagnosed C.O.P. before treatment.  Click on the thumbnail image to enlarge it. (The larger image is a jpg size 240kB so if you are on dial-up connection, it may take more a few seconds to upload.) Note patchy air space opacification affecting the lateral aspect of the left mid-zone. Chest X-Ray of patient S; 10 weeks later after treatment with Prednisolone.  Click on the thumbnail image to enlarge it. (Size 160kB) Note resolution of the left patchy air-space opacification.

COP & BOOP: the Lung Disease thatís just as debilitating as Lung Cancer or Emphysema but luckily is far rarer ( it is believed that less than 0.01% of the population suffer from it but it is more likely that it is far more common and that many doctors misdiagnose it). It kills about 7% of sufferers although these tend to be the elderly or those in poor health from other conditions.. Contact the British Lung Foundation for more information:  Link to British Lung Foundation and its page on COP/BOOP ; Link to Yahoo COP-BOOP Health Forum

The cause of COP/BOOP is somewhat complex but it may be triggered by infections from bacteria, viruses & parasites as well as a number of drugs and toxic fumes. The disease usually begins between the ages of 40 and 60 and affects men and women equally. COP is a completely different & unrelated disease to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). The disease was not identified until 1985 but its symptoms had been noted before that time but not recognised as a separate lung disease.

Almost 75% of people have symptoms for less than two months before seeking medical attention. A flu-like illness, with a cough, fever, a feeling of illness (malaise), fatigue, and weight loss heralds the onset in about 40% of patients. Doctors do not find any specific abnormalities on routine laboratory tests or on a physical examination, except for the frequent presence of crackling sounds (called Velcro crackles) when the doctor listens with a stethoscope. Pulmonary function tests usually show that the amount of air the lungs can hold is below normal. The amount of oxygen in the blood is often low at rest and is even lower with exercise.

The chest x-ray is distinctive with features that appear similar to an extensive pneumonia, with both lungs showing widespread white patches. The white patches may seem to migrate from one area of the lung to another as the disease persists or progresses. Computed Tomography (CT) may be used to confirm the diagnosis. Often the findings are typical enough to allow the doctor to make a diagnosis without ordering additional tests. To confirm the diagnosis, a doctor may perform a lung biopsy using a bronchoscope. Many times, a larger specimen is needed and must be removed surgically. About two thirds of patients recover with corticosteroid therapy: the usual steroid administered is Prednisolone in Europe and Prednisone in the USA; these differ by only one functional group and have the same clinical effect. The steroid is initially administered in high dosage, typically 50mg per day tapering down to zero over a 6 month to one year period. If the steroid treatment is halted too quickly the disease may return. Other drugs must be taken to counteract side effects of the steroid.

Information above is edited from The Merck Manual of Medical Information - Online Edition as well as other peer-reviewed academic sources.

There is also a Wikipedia listing.

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Page last edited March 2014                                                                               Website design and maintenance by  consultant shaun coles
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