Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP)



A rare lung condition that affects the alveoli (air-exchange sacs), the walls of the small bronchi, and bronchioles (small airways). Symptoms appear when these tissues become inflamed and clogged with debris. COP is typically only diagnosed when all other possible explanations for illness have been eliminated. If the condition is left untreated, it can lead to severe lung damage.

Common Symptoms

Typically, flu-like symptoms are the first sign of COP. These may be accompanied by shortness of breath, dry cough, weight loss, chest pain, joint pain, night sweats, fever, chills, fatigue, and hemoptysis (coughing up blood).

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Risk Factors and Prevalence

COP typically affects people between the ages of 50 and 60. Autoimmune conditions or inflammatory diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis or granulomatosis) may also increase the risk of developing COP.


  1. Article Sources
    1. Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from

    2. Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia | Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) – an NCATS Program. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2021, from

    3. Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia (COP). (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2021, from

    4. Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia—Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2021, from