This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Bronchiolitis obliterans is an inflammatory condition that affects the lung’s tiniest airways, the bronchioles. In affected people, the bronchioles may become damaged and inflamed leading to extensive scarring that blocks the airways. Signs and symptoms of the condition include a dry cough; shortness of breath; and/or fatigue and wheezing in the absence of a cold or asthma. Many different chemicals (such as nitrogen oxides, ammonia, welding fumes or food flavoring fumes) and respiratory infections can cause lung injury that leads to bronchiolitis obliterans. It can also be associated with rheumatoid arthritis and graft-versus-host disease following a lung or hematopoietic cell transplantation. While there is no way to reverse the disease, treatments are available that may stabilize or slow the progression.
Another similarly named disease, bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia, is a completely different disease.
For more information, visit GARD.