A Case of Pulmonary Tuberculosis Presenting as Diffuse Alveolar Haemorrhage: Is There a Role for Anticardiolipin Antibodies?

BMC Infect Dis. 2010 Feb 20;10:33. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-10-33.


Background: Diffuse alveolar haemorrhage (DAH) has been rarely reported in association with pulmonary infections.

Case presentation: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Anticardiolipin / blood*
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification*
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / pathology*


  • Antibodies, Anticardiolipin
  • Antitubercular Agents