Case report and review of the literature. Fatal pulmonary complication in ankylosing spondylitis

Clin Rheumatol. 1997 Nov;16(6):617-22. doi: 10.1007/BF02247804.


A 44-year-old non-smoking patient with longstanding ankylosing spondylitis presented in marked respiratory distress with tachypnea, fever, cough, greenish sputum, night sweats, dyspnea and weight loss. Computed tomography showed traction bronchiectases and cavities associated with scarring. The findings were most pronounced in the upper lobes which contained multiple cavities up to 8 cm in diameter harboring fungus balls. The superior segment of the left lower lobe showed two additional cavities. Tuberculosis and atypical mycobacteria were ruled out. Antibiotic therapy resulted in transient improvement. Five months after this acute exacerbation the patient expired from massive haemoptysis. Pulmonary fibrosis is a rare manifestation of ankylosing spondylitis, may be complicated by infection and haemorrhage and determine the dismal prognosis of these patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / complications
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / complications*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed