Lung cavities in patients with coeliac disease

Digestion. 1990;46(2):72-80. doi: 10.1159/000200335.


The clinical, radiological and pathological features of 7 patients with coeliac disease (CD) who developed lung abscesses or cavities are described. These patients were seen during a 20-year period during which time approximately 600 coeliacs were seen and 50 died. Six of the coeliac patients with lung abscess died. The patients were middle aged. Staphylococcal infection, Klebsiella pneumoniae, bronchial carcinoma and previous pulmonary tuberculosis accounted for the cavities in 4 patients. In the 3 other patients a definite cause could not be identified. Hyposplenism and malnutrition were common. Next to malignancy pulmonary abscess was the commonest cause of death in the coeliac population. The development of respiratory symptoms should be regarded as a potentially serious and a life-threatening event in the middle-aged coeliac patients. Lung abscess should be added to the list of respiratory diseases associated with coeliac disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Celiac Disease / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Abscess / complications*
  • Lung Abscess / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Abscess / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Disorders / complications
  • Radiography
  • Splenic Diseases / complications