Shrinking lungs, diaphragmatic dysfunction, and systemic lupus erythematosus

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1985 Oct;132(4):926-8. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1985.132.4.926.


One of the more unusual respiratory manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus is "shrinking lungs." We report a patient with this syndrome and provide evidence for this being due to diaphragm dysfunction. Significant improvement occurred after albuterol therapy, providing new possibilities in the treatment of this syndrome. This is the first report in humans supporting animal work demonstrating that beta-agonists can improve diaphragmatic performance.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Albuterol / therapeutic use
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Diaphragm / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Respiratory Function Tests


  • Albuterol