Abstract In 2008, Kawabata et al. described a lesion which they termed “airspace enlargement with fibrosis” that could be included on the spectrum of smoking-related interstitial lung diseases. This group also reported that patients with airspace enlargement with fibrosis but without coexisting interstitial pneumonia of another type had no acute exacerbations and favorable prognoses on clinical follow-up. Here we describe the first case, to our knowledge, of acute exacerbation of airspace enlargement with fibrosis without coexisting interstitial pneumonia of another type. An 82-year-old man was referred to our department for worsening dyspnea and new alveolar opacities on chest radiograph following left pulmonary segmentectomy (S6) for cancer. A diagnosis of acute exacerbation of airspace enlargement with fibrosis without coexisting interstitial pneumonia of other types was made, based on pathological evidence of airspace enlargement with fibrosis and organizing diffuse alveolar damage. Treatment with high-dose methylprednisolone followed by tapered oral prednisolone resulted in gradual improvement of the clinical condition and chest radiographic findings. Clinicians should be aware that patients with airspace enlargement with fibrosis may experience acute exacerbation.