Subclinical pulmonary involvement assessed by broncho-alveolar lavage in patients with early undifferentiated connective tissue disease

G. Kumánovics, H. Zibotics, E. Juhász, A. Komócsi, L. Czirják

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. To assess the presence of neutrophil and lymphocyte fibrosing alveolitis by bronchoalveolar lavage in patients with early undifferentiated connective tissue disease (EUCTD) and systemic sclerosis (SSc). Method. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed in 13 patients with EUCTD who exhibited signs of lung involvement by non-invasive methods including lung function tests and high resolution computed tomography. The mean age of cases was 48.1 ± 6.6, and the mean disease duration was 1.8 ± 0.8 years. Differential cell counts of BAL were evaluated. Eleven patients with systemic sclerosis and 5 healthy control subjects were also investigated. Results. Eleven of the 13 EUCTD and 10 of the 11 SSc patients showed an elevated total cell number (above the median cell/ml of control + 2SD) in the BAL fluid. In patients with EUCTD, the lymphocyte count was elevated in 6, and the polymorphonuclear neutrophil count in 2 patients. One of the patients with EUCTD had simultaneously elevated lymphocyte and neutrophil granulocyte counts. In the SSc group, 6 patients had an elevated lymphocyte and 6 an increased neutrophil count. Three of these cases had both increased neutrophil and elevated lymphocyte counts, simultaneously. Conclusion. Subclinical, predominantly lymphocyte alveolitis can be present in patients with EUCTD. Patients with SSc tend to exhibit neutrophil alveolitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-559
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and experimental rheumatology
Volume19
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 4 2001

Keywords

  • Alveolitis
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Early undifferentiated connective tissue disease
  • Lung fibrosis
  • Systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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