Clinical experience of 13 cases with severe pulmonary hemorrhage in systemic lupus erythematosus with active nephritis

Scand J Rheumatol. 1998;27(4):291-5. doi: 10.1080/030097498442406.


Pulmonary hemorrhage is a rare, but serious manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Herein, we report 13 cases of severe pulmonary hemorrhage in SLE. Hemoptysis was present in 11 patients. All thirteen patients had active nephritis and were in the stage of nephrotic syndrome. A majority of the patients had neuropsychiatric manifestations and coagulopathy including thrombocytopenia or lupus anticoagulant. All episodes of pulmonary hemorrhage occurred after large dose of corticosteroid had been administered in treating nephritis. Recurrent pulmonary hemorrhage was noted in four patients. Ten (77%) of the 13 patients finally died. Respiratory failure was the main cause of death. Our observation suggests that active nephritis with hypoalbuminemia is a major risk factor for severe pulmonary hemorrhage in SLE patients and that high dose corticosteroid use can not prevent the occurrence of severe pulmonary hemorrhage in SLE.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / complications
  • Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Hemorrhage / mortality
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / complications
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases / mortality
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephritis / complications*
  • Nephritis / drug therapy


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Methylprednisolone