Pleuritis and other pulmonary symptoms
Inflammation of the lung and associated vessels is another alarming consequence of the disease. The patient complains of severe chest pain during inspiration. This condition is typically referred to as pleuritic chest pain.
In the advanced stage of the disease, the lungs start shrinking as the patient’s condition worsens. This is referred to as shrinking lung syndrome. The diaphragm is also affected in 20-30% of cases. In these circumstances, it is highly advisable to look for medical assistance. Proper examination along with CT scan and chest X-Ray will rule out other entities and support a correct diagnose. It is essential to differentiate these symptoms from causes different than lupus such as cardiac failure, generally referred to as “heart attack.”
The patient normally complains of dull chest pain, dyspnea and shortness of breath, and major pulmonary disorders caused by SLE are pleural effusion, lupus pneumonitis, chronic lupus interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, and alveolar hemorrhage.