Pleuropulmonary Pathology in Patients With Rheumatic Disease

Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine (Impact Factor: 2.88). 10/2012; 136(10):1242-52. DOI: 10.5858/arpa.2012-0248-SA
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Thoracic manifestations of rheumatic disease (RD) are increasingly recognized as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Rheumatologic underpinnings have been identified in a significant proportion of patients with interstitial lung disease. The 5 RDs most frequently associated with pleuropulmonary disease are (1) rheumatoid arthritis, (2) systemic lupus erythematosus, (3) progressive systemic sclerosis, (4) polymyositis/dermatomyositis, and (5) Sjögren syndrome. The onset of thoracic involvement in these diseases is variable. In some patients, it precedes the systemic disease or is its only manifestation. Moreover, there is a wide spectrum of clinical presentation ranging from subclinical abnormalities to acute respiratory failure. Histopathologically, the hallmark features of thoracic involvement by RD are inflammatory, targeting one or more lung compartments. The reactions range from acute to chronic, with remodeling by fibrosis being a common result. Although the inflammatory findings are often nonspecific, certain reactions or anatomic distributions may favor one RD over another, and occasionally, a distinctive histopathology may be present (eg, rheumatoid nodules). Three diagnostic dilemmas are encountered in patients with RD who develop diffuse lung disease: 1) opportunistic infection in the immunocompromised host, 2) drug toxicity related to the medications used to treat the systemic disease, and 3) manifestations of the patient's known systemic disease in lung and pleura. To confidently address the latter, the 5 major RDs are presented here, with their most common pleuropulmonary pathologic manifestations, accompanied by brief clinical and radiologic correlations.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Since its original description in 1956 the association between interstitial lung disease and polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) has become well established. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) can be a significant complication in rheumatic diseases (RDs). Although most patients with RD do not develop clinically evident ILD, these systemic autoimmune disorders are estimated to be responsible for approximately 25% of all ILD deaths and 2% of deaths due to all respiratory causes. Radiologic abnormalities in DM are characterized by a high incidence of airspace consolidation. Non-Specific Interstitial Pneumonia (NSIP) is the most common form of lung disease, with a frequency in biopsies 4-fold greater than that of Usual Interstitial Pneumonia (UIP) in PM and a slightly smaller predominance in DM. We report a case of a female patient, 57 years old, no former smoker, whose clinical history was onset in November 2008 with asthenia with muscle and osteoarticular pain especially located in the upper limbs and then also expanded to the lower limbs. The EMG was compatible with dermatomyositis in the acute phase. The patient received therapy with steroids and tacrolimus, also making several rounds of treatment with immunoglobulin. Given the recurrence of myositis in association with signs of poorly controlled interstitial lung disease, immunosuppressive therapy with Rituximab was administered. The Computed Tomography (CT) scans showed "bronchiectasis and traction bronchiolectasis, hypodense areas consistent with the phenomena of air trapping. The pattern of interstitial lung disease with fibrotic evolution seems consistent with NSIP. The arterial blood gas analysis showed a pattern of hypoxic-hypercapnic respiratory failure (pH: 7,34, PaO2: 67 mmHg; PaCO2: 55 mmHg). As a result of an episode of marked desaturation unresponsive to supplemental oxygen at high flows we proceeded to noninvasive mechanical ventilation with Helmet for 24 hours/24. This ventilatory support was maintained for a week, with resolution of the respiratory failure. In this brief case report we want to highlight various pulmonary complications as a result of dermatomyositis. The progression of respiratory complications may also lead to a situation of respiratory failure, as in our patient, and require a noninvasive ventilatory treatment.
    Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine 03/2013; 8(1):27. DOI:10.1186/2049-6958-8-27 · 0.15 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a multisystem inflammatory disease characterised by destructive synovitis and varied extra-articular involvement. Rheumatoid lung nodules are the most common pulmonary manifestations of RA. Rheumatoid nodules in mediastinal lymph nodes are extremely uncommon. We describe a male patient with long-standing RA and subcutaneous rheumatoid nodules presenting with multiple lung nodules and mediastinal lymphadenopathies. Definite histopathology of a lymph node was consistent with necrobiotic granuloma due to RA. Clinicians should be aware of rheumatoid nodules as a potential cause of mediastinal lymphadenopathies, mainly in advanced rheumatoid arthritis.
    Case Reports 05/2013; 2013. DOI:10.1136/bcr-2013-009516
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pulmonary fibrosis in surgical lung biopsies is said to have a 'usual interstitial pneumonia-pattern' (UIP-pattern) of disease when scarring of the parenchyma is present in a patchy, 'temporally heterogeneous' distribution. These biopsies are one of the more common non-neoplastic specimens surgical pathologists encounter and often pose a number of challenges. UIP is the expected histopathological pattern in patients with clinical idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), but the UIP-pattern can be seen in other conditions on occasion. Most important among these are the rheumatic interstitial lung diseases (RILD) and chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis (CHrHP). Because theses entities have different mechanisms of injury, approach to therapy, and expected clinical progression, it is imperative for the surgical pathologist to correctly classify them. Taken in isolation, the UIP-pattern seen in patients with IPF may appear to overlap with that of RILD and CHrHP, at least when using the broadest definition of this term (patchy fibrosis). However, important distinguishing features are nearly always present in our experience, and the addition of a multidisciplinary approach will often resolve the critical differences between these diseases. In this manuscript, we review the distinguishing clinical, radiologic and histopathological features of UIP of IPF, RILD and CHrHP, based, in part, on the existing literature, but also lessons learned from a busy lung biopsy consultation practice.
    Journal of clinical pathology 05/2013; 66(10). DOI:10.1136/jclinpath-2013-201442 · 2.55 Impact Factor
Show more