Early detection of interstitial pneumonia by monitoring KL-6 in a chronic hepatitis C patient undergoing pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy.
ABSTRACT A 58-year-old woman with chronic hepatitis C developed interstitial pneumonia (IP) while undergoing pegylated interferon (PEG IFN)-α-2a and ribavirin (RBV) therapy. Serum levels of sialylated carbohydrate antigen KL-6 (KL-6), a known marker of disease activity in fibrosing lung disorders, had been regularly measured once a month for early detection of IP, and had begun rising noticeably from 12 weeks to 540 U/mL at 33 weeks of treatment. On examination, remarkable fine crackles were detected by dorsal auscultation and bilateral ground-glass opacities and reticular shadows were depicted by computed tomography. The patient successfully recovered from her early-stage pneumonia by immediate discontinuation of therapy, which indicates that regular monitoring of serum KL-6 may be effective for avoidance of IP progression induced by PEG IFN and RBV therapy.