Pulmonary manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus

Clin Chest Med. 2010 Sep;31(3):479-88. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2010.05.001.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a potentially severe, frequently disabling autoimmune disease with multiorgan involvement and a typically waxing and waning course. SLE is often considered the prototypical autoimmune disease. Although SLE has the potential to affect any organ, the lungs are commonly involved later in the course of the disease in the setting of other organ involvement. Pulmonary disease may complicate SLE and is an important cause of morbidity and mortality. The most common pulmonary manifestation attributable to SLE is pleuritis, but other pleural involvement can be seen, as well as parenchymal disease, pulmonary vascular disease, diaphragmatic dysfunction, and upper airway dysfunction. Finding the true prevalence of lung involvement with SLE is complicated by the high rates of pulmonary infections. This article reviews the diverse clinical symptoms and immunologic pulmonary manifestations of SLE.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchial Diseases / diagnosis
  • Bronchial Diseases / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases / therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Pleural Diseases / diagnosis
  • Pleural Diseases / etiology*
  • Pleural Diseases / therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / complications