Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia and scleroderma

J Rheumatol. 1992 Jul;19(7):1136-40.


Pulmonary involvement in scleroderma is characterized by interstitial fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension. Although bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP) may be associated with a variety of connective tissue diseases and their treatment, there are only rare reports of bronchiolitis associated with scleroderma. We describe 2 patients with scleroderma and rapidly evolving pulmonary infiltrates, which upon biopsy showed histologic findings of BOOP. Each patient had severe restrictive lung disease and markedly diminished diffusion capacity. Treatment with high dose prednisone showed a good response in one patient. The rapid course of pulmonary findings in these patients differs from the usual course of pulmonary fibrosis in scleroderma. Although BOOP is a rare finding in scleroderma, our findings suggest that rapid pulmonary decompensation or atypical findings for pulmonary fibrosis should prompt consideration for an open lung biopsy. Finding a potentially steroid responsive disorder in an otherwise steroid unresponsive disorder has important clinical implications.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / complications*
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / complications*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnosis
  • Radiography
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / diagnosis