African Journal of Rheumatology

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Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage in a young woman with systemic lupus erythematosus: Case report and literature review

CC Okwara, G Ozoh


Diffuse Alveolar Hemorrhage (DAH) is rarely reported complication of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). A young woman diagnosed SLE, with a previously normal plain chest radiograph, developed acute onset cough, dyspnoea and hemoptysis. The repeat urgent chest radiograph revealed alveolar opacities. The triad of acute onset respiratory symptoms on a background of SLE and previously normal chest radiography raised the suspicion of DAH in her. She made satisfactory clinical response to high dose corticosteroid and pulse intravenous cyclophosphamide. We conclude that high index of suspicion is required for recognition of DAH. Prompt diagnosis and management are keys to successful outcome.

Key words: Systemic lupus erythematosus, Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, Rare complication

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