Pulmonary disease in systemic lupus erythematosus and the antiphospholpid syndrome

Autoimmun Rev. 2004 Jan;3(1):70-5. doi: 10.1016/S1568-9972(03)00090-9.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by disturbances in innate and adaptive immune mechanisms. Multiple systems and organs may be involved. Tissue damage and dysfunction are mediated by autoantibodies and immune complex formation. The lungs are among the organ systems commonly involved. The pulmonary manifestations usually occur in patients with multisystem disease and include: pleural involvement, parenchymal disease, pulmonary vascular disease and diaphragmatic dysfunction. Manifestations may range from sub-clinical abnormalities to life threatening disorders. Many of the pulmonary manifestations characteristic of SLE are seen in the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) as well, in both the primary and secondary syndrome. In this review the diverse pulmonary manifestations are described as well as the diagnostic modalities available, including the use of induced sputum evaluation for early diagnosis and follow up. New treatment modalities are referred to.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases / therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy


  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid