It is a chronic form
of lupus pneumonitis, & is rare in lupus.
The symptoms are a chronic
non-productive cough, which comes on slowly, pleuritis-like chest
pains, & difficulty breathing during exercise.
Infection needs to be
ruled out as a cause. A bronchoscopy and/or a lung biopsy are usually
needed to determine the cause.
Chronic lupus pneumonitis
causes scarring in the lung, which decreases the ability of the
lungs to deliver oxygen to the blood. Breathing function tests are
used to follow the activity of the disease.
It is usually treated
with steroids. The course of the disease varies, some patients improve,
deteriorate or stabilise.