Respiratory Manifestations in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021 Mar 18;14(3):276. doi: 10.3390/ph14030276.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease characterized by a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. The respiratory system can be involved in up to 50-70% of patients and be the presenting manifestation of the disease in 4-5% of cases. Every part of the respiratory part can be involved, and the severity can vary from mild self-limiting to life threatening forms. Respiratory involvement can be primary (caused by SLE itself) or secondary (e.g., infections or drug toxicity), acute or chronic. The course, treatment and prognosis vary greatly depending on the specific pattern of the disease. This review article aims at providing an overview of respiratory manifestations in SLE along with an update about therapeutic approaches including novel biologic therapies.

Keywords: airway disease; diffuse alveolar hemorrhage; infection; interstitial lung disease; pleurisy; shrinking lung syndrome; systemic lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

  • Review