Lung function in adolescents receiving high-dose methotrexate

M. A. Wall, M. E.B. Wohl, N. Jaffe, D. J. Strieder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Methotrexate (MTX) has been implicated as a cause of interstitial pneumonitis and/or fibrosis, but the mechanism by which the drug causes these processes is not known. The purpose of this study was to determine whether patients receiving high-dose MTX developed a consistent decrease in pulmonary function, which would implicate a role for total dose of MTX received in the pathogenesis of the lung toxicity. Pulmonary function studies, including spirometry, plethysmography, and diffusing capacity at two levels of alveolar P(O)2, were performed in 38 adolescents treated for osteogenic sarcoma. The patients were divided into three groups including 12 patients (group 1) studied before and during therapy, 15 patients (group 2) studied during therapy, and 11 patients (group 3) studied after completion of treatment. While total dose received at the time of the study varied from 0 to 256 gm/sq m, pulmonary function showed no change, with one exception. A mild restrictive defect and decrease in diffusing capacity due to unilateral pleural and diaphragmatic disease, whose relationship to MTX therapy is uncertain, developed in one patient. MTX, when administered in high dose to young patients by the described protocol, causes no dose-related decrease in pulmonary function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-746
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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