Polyarteritis nodosa: with pulmonary haemorrhage

Case contributed by Prof Oliver Hennessy



Patient Data

Age: 26
Gender: Female

There are confluent ground glass densities within both lungs, predominantly in a central distribution, with sparing of the subpleural lung.

No septal thickening demonstrated. No pleural effusion or lymphadenopathy. Right-sided central venous catheter noted in situ. No bony abnormality demonstrated


There is bilateral ground glass infiltrate. The main differential for this includes pulmonary haemorrhage and atypical infection. Pulmonary oedema is less likely, although non-cardiogenic oedema could also be considered


Case Discussion

Patient is known to have pANCA vasculitis. Bronchoscopy revealed extensive blood on both sides. No organisms isolated

Pulmonary haemorrhage is very uncommon in PAN, the lungs are usually spared. Haemorrhage is more often seen in other vasculitides, such as Wegener's or in SLE.

In this patient on immunosuppression the other important differential diagnosis is opportunistic infection. Bronchoscopy is diagnostic, revealing blood and bronchial washings showing no organisms.

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Case information

rID: 33691
Published: 28th Jan 2015
Last edited: 15th Aug 2017
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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