Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is often associated with various opportunistic infections, particularly during treatment with corticosteroids or immunosuppressants. We studied the clinical characteristics of 15 patients with SLE who underwent diagnostic bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and compared 6 patients with confirmed Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP+), with 9 patients without Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP-). The serum concentrations of beta-D-glucan and KL-6 were significantly higher in PcP+ than in PcP- patients, whereas serum LDH was similar in both groups. The serum concentrations of complement, a marker of SLE activity, and of IgG did not predict the presence of PcP. In all patients, the overall cell and lymphocyte counts were increased in the BAL fluid, without any significant difference between the PcP+ and PcP- groups. Ground-glass opacities on chest computed tomography, and oxygenation impairment (PaO2/FiO2<200Torr) were more common in PcP+ than PcP- patients. We concluded that, in patients with SLE, serum beta-D-glucan and KL-6 might be useful in the diagnosis of PcP, particularly when severe hypoxemia precludes BAL.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Nihon Kokyūki Gakkai zasshi = the journal of the Japanese Respiratory Society|
|Publication status||Published - 2006 Sep|
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