A case of pulmonary tuberculosis presenting as diffuse alveolar haemorrhage: is there a role for anticardiolipin antibodies?

Respiratory Endoscopy Unit, National Institute for Infectious Diseases "L, Spallanzani", Via Portuense 292, 00149 Rome, Italy.
BMC Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 3.03). 02/2010; 10:33. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-10-33
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Diffuse alveolar haemorrhage (DAH) has been rarely reported in association with pulmonary infections.
We report the case of a 43 year old immunocompetent man presenting with dyspnoea, fever and haemoptysis. Chest imaging showed bilateral ground glass opacities. Microbiological and molecular tests were positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and treatment with isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol and pyrazinamide was successful. In this case the diagnosis of DAH relies on clinical, radiological and endoscopic findings. Routine blood tests documented the presence of anticardiolipin antibodies. In the reported case the diagnostic criteria of antiphospholipid syndrome were not fulfilled.
The transient presence of anticardiolipin antibodies in association with an unusual clinical presentation of pulmonary tuberculosis is intriguing although a causal relationship cannot be established.

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