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Arizona Thoracic Society Notes

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November 2018 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
September 2018 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes 
July 2018 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
March 2018 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
January 2018 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
November 2017 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
September 2017 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
March 2017 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
January 2017 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
November 2016 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
July 2016 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
March 2016 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
November 2015 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
September 2015 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
July 2015 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
May 2015 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
March 2015 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
January 2015 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
November 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
September 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
August 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
June 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
May 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
April 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
March 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
February 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
January 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
December 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
November 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
October 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
September 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
August 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
July 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
June 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
May 2013 Council of Chapter Representatives Notes
May 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
April 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes 
March 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
March 2013 Council of Chapter Representatives Meeting 
and “Hill Day” Notes
February 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
January 2013 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
November 2012 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
October 2012 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
September 2012 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
August 2012 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
August 2012 Special Meeting Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
June 2012 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes
May 2012 Council of Chapter Representatives Meeting
May 2012 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes


For a complete list of the Arizona Thoracic Society notes click here.

The Arizona Thoracic Society meets every other month in Phoenix, usually on the fourth Wednesday of odd numbered months, from 6:30-8:00  PM at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Hospital located at Shea and 90th Street in Phoenix. During these meetings dinner and case presentations occur.


Entries in lipoid pneumonia (2)


May 2015 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes

The May 2015 Arizona Thoracic Society meeting was held on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the Scottsdale Shea Hospital beginning at 6:30 PM. This was a dinner meeting with case presentations. There were 16 in attendance representing the pulmonary, critical care, sleep, and radiology communities.

Ms. Georgann VanderJagt, RN, MSN gave an update on clinical trials at Dignity Health including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. To contact Ms. VanderJagt call her office at 602-406-3825, her cell at 602-615-2377 or by email at  

Dr. Michael Smith, the surgical director for the lung transplant program at Dignity Health, gave an overview of their lung transplant program. They are currently the fifth busiest transplant program in the US.  They have done 46 lung transplants so far this year. They are on a par with UCLA in number of transplants and survival has been at the National average. Average wait time is only abut 2 weeks. He also discussed recent and ongoing transplant protocols. To contact Dr. Smith call 602-406-7564.

There were 4 case presentations:

  1. Jud Tillinghast presented a case of a large man who was short of breath. His CT scan showed multiple calcifications in the lower lobes. It was felt that clinically he was most likely aspirating as a cause of the calcifications.
  2. Gerald Swartzberg presented a case of a large man who had some minimal dyspnea and an elevated right hemidiaphragm. His chest x-ray showed consolidation in this right lower lung. He had been seen at the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Lewis Wesselius reviewed his pathology from a needle biopsy of a right lower lobe nodule which was nonspecific. Reviewing his case he also had a biopsy from Sloan Kettering in 2006 which was also nonspecific. Further history was obtained and the patient admitted he was using Vick's Vaporub in his nose since he was 7 years old. It was unclear if this was the cause of his right lower lobe consolidation.
  3. Dr. Swartzberg presented a second case of a 70-year-old woman with multiple medical problems. She has a cockatiel but is remarkably asymptomatic. A chest x-ray was taken showed nonspecific lower lobe changes. Pulmonary function tests showed a reduced vital capacity but a normal to high total lung capacity. A DLCO was not able to be obtained. CT scan showed small nodules with ground glass in her lower lobes. It was felt that most likely this was a hypersensitivity pneumonitis secondary to her bird. She got rid of the bird but did not improve.  The cause of her abnormal pulmonary radiology remains unclear.
  4. Dr. Wesselius presented a case of a patient with a chronic cough which had been treated with antibiotics and corticosteroids. When he as on oral corticosteroids he was perhaps somewhat better. He was seen at the University of Massachusetts without a diagnosis being made. He subsequently moved to the Phoenix area and was evaluated at the Mayo Clinic. Chest x-ray showed consolidation in his right upper lobe. On bronchoscopy he had some whitish plaques along his trachea and main bronchi. Bronchoalveolar lavage showed 89% eosinophils and his transbronchial biopsy was consistent with chronic eosinophilic pneumonia. Apparently, this association has previously been sporadically reported. He was started on prednisone and improved.

Dr. Jud Tillinghast was acknowledged as the Arizona Thoracic Society Clinician of the Year and one of the four finalists as ATS Clinician of the Year.

After a brief discussion, the membership agreed to encourage and help Nevada form a state thoracic society.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned about 8 PM. The next meeting will be in Phoenix at Scottsdale Shea on Wednesday, July 22 at 6:30 PM.

Richard A. Robbins, MD

Editor, SWJPCC

Reference as: Robbins RA. May 2015 Arizona thoracic society notes. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2015;10(5):304-5. doi: PDF


April 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes

The April 2014 Arizona Thoracic Society meeting was held on Wednesday, 4/23/2014 at Scottsdale Shea Hospital beginning at 6:30 PM. There were 15 in attendance representing the pulmonary, critical care, sleep, pathology and radiology communities.

It was announced that there will be a wine tasting with the California, New Mexico and Colorado Thoracic Societies at the American Thoracic Society International Meeting. The tasting will be led by Peter Wagner and is scheduled for the Cobalt Room in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on Tuesday, May 20, from 4-8 PM.

Guideline development was again discussed. The consensus was to await publication of the IDSA Cocci Guidelines and respond appropriately.

George Parides, Arizona Chapter Representative, gave a presentation on Hill Day. Representatives of the Arizona, New Mexico and Washington Thoracic Societies met with their Congressional delegations, including Rep. David Schweikert, to discuss the Cigar Bill, NIH funding, and the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate Factor (SGR). Dr. Parides also spoke about the need for increased funding for Graduate Medical Education.

Four cases were presented:

  1. Jud Tillinghast presented a case of a middle aged man who suffered a cervical cord injury 6-7 years ago resulting in paraplegia. The patient had just moved from California and was referred because of an abnormal chest x-ray. After his injury the patient had a great deal of pain and repeated episodes of aspiration. The patient was asymptomatic. The chest x-ray showed haziness surrounding the right hilum. A CT scan showed RLL, LLL, and RML consolidation which was essentially unchanged from a thoracic CT performed 6 months earlier. A biopsy was performed and consistent with lipoid pneumonia. On further questioning the patient recalled taking mineral oil for the first 2-3 years after his injury to relieve constipation induced by narcotics for pain.
  2. Gerald Schwartzberg presented a 79 year old man with very severe COPD who presented with hemoptysis. Chest x-ray showed bilateral lower lobe consolidation with an air-fluid level in the right chest. Bronchoalveolar lavage revealed only Aspergillus. A discussion ensued and many were unconvinced that the consolidations resulted from Aspergillus. Since the patient was relatively asymptomatic except from the dyspnea from his COPD, the consensus was to perform a repeat thoracic CT scan.
  3. Lewis Wesselius presented a 71 year old woman with dyspnea since late 2013. She had a cardiac pacemaker placed in 2008. Her physical exam was unremarkable. Her SpO2 was 96% on room air but decreased to 84% with exercise. Chest x-ray and pulmonary function testing were unremarkable (a DLco was unable to be performed. Echocardiogram revealed a large patent foramen ovale (PFO).
  4. Allen Thomas presented a 65 year old with dyspnea. The patient had a history of cardiomegaly with diastolic dysfunction and a bipolar disorder treated with lithium, lamotrigine, gabapentin. Chest x-ray showed bilateral interstitial infiltrates. CT scan showed sub-pleural patchy ground-glass opacities combined with irregular reticular opacities reminiscent of nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP). Collage vascular work up was negative. Review of the website Pneumotox ( showed reports of interstitial disease with lamotrigine. The medication was stopped an follow-up CT scan showed near resolution of the abnormalities.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned about 8:15 PM. The next meeting is scheduled to be a case presentation conference for May 28, 6:30 PM at Scottsdale Shea Hospital.

Richard A. Robbins, MD

Reference as: Robbins RA. April 2014 Arizona thoracic society notes. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2014;8(4):236-7. doi: PDF