Aims and objectives: 1. To evaluate whether CT helps in the early diagnosis of pulmonary manifestations in SLE. 2. To study the pulmonary involvement and determine the incidence and type of pulmonary involvement.
Materials and methods: Thirty eight patients fulfilling ACR classification criteria for SLE were studied. Chest X-ray, pulmonary function tests (PFT), HRCT scan thorax were done. Investigations were done to detect other organ involvement. Patients with known interstitial lung disease (occupational hazard) or pregnant females were excluded.
Results: Clinical signs and symptoms referable to pulmonary involvement were present in 9 patients (23.68%). HRCT thorax detected abnormalities in 21 patients (55.26%); pulmonary function abnormalities were present in 11 patients (28.95%) and plain X-ray chest abnormalities were present in 7 patients (18.42%). Out of 38 patients pulmonary involvement was present in 22 (57.89%) cases and HRCT thorax findings were present in 21 (95.45%) of them.
Conclusion: Pulmonary involvement is present in a significant number of SLE patients, who are often asymptomatic, with normal chest X-ray or normal PFT. HRCT scan thorax could diagnose the pulmonary involvement in asymptomatic patients with normal chest X-ray and uncertain PFT.