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Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia

versión impresa ISSN 0873-2159


AGUIAR, M et al. Organising pneumonia: The experience of an outpatient clinic of a central hospital. Rev Port Pneumol [online]. 2010, vol.16, n.3, pp.369-389. ISSN 0873-2159.

Aim: to characterise outpatients of a Portuguese central hospital diagnosed with organising pneumonia (OP) and compare results with current literature. Methods: medical processes with diagnosis of OP were retrospectively studied as to demographics, aetiology, clinical and radiological features, average time until and date of diagnosis, laboratory and histological changes, treatment and relapse. Results - thirteen patients with a mean follow -up of 171.6 weeks (max 334 and min 28 weeks) were evaluated. Nine of these patients (70%) had cryptogenic OP (COP) while 30% had secondary OP (SOP), two with rheumatoid arthritis, one with dermatomyositis and another undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer. Mean age was 55.6 (+ -15.3 years), 92% female, 77% were non -smokers. Average time until diagnosis was 77.2 weeks (min 3 and max 432 weeks). Symptoms at presentation were tiredness (92%), cough (85%), fever (65%), shortness of breath (54%), thoracic pain (23%) and weight loss (23%). At the time of diagnosis, the mean erythrocyte sedimentation rate was 70mm (max 170mm and min 16mm). C -reactive protein level was increased in eight patients. Significant leucocytosis was absent. Chest X -ray and chest CT scan showed bilateral distribution in 12 patients (92%). Consolidation with an air bronchogram was present in 12 patients and in four (31%), consolidation was migratory. Four patients (30%) underwent transbronchial pulmonary biopsy, all uncharacteristic and eight patients surgical pulmonary biopsy, four showed histological confirmation of SOP. Corticosteroids were started in 11 patients and average treatment was 61.6 weeks (16-288 weeks). 15% (2/13) had spontaneous resolution. Four patients (31%) relapsed, one of them five times. Two patients are dependent on a low dose of corticosteroids, one due to underlying disease and another due to multiple relapses. Therapy of relapse was corticosteroids alone in minimum effective dosage or associated to azathioprine or ciclosporin. Discussion and conclusion: such a high incidence in females (92%) may be explained by the limited sample of patients. In 70% of the patients diagnosis were established by clinical and radiology criteria. Mean time to diagnosis was very variable which suggests that in some cases the disease was not diagnosed and treated as another interstitial lung disease or as recurrent pneumonia. Most patients (53.8%) had a favourable clinical course after treatment with corticosteroids with a very low number of relapses (30.8%), much lower than described by other authors (60%). Only in experienced centres should the diagnosis of OP established by clinical and radiological criteria.

Palabras clave : Cryptogenic organising pneumonia; secondary organising pneumonia.

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