Mediterr J Rheumatol 2019;30(3):147-54
Lung Disease in Rheumatic Disorders
Authors Information

University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle, United Kingdom


Rheumatology and Chest Medicine remain arguably the last two bastions of clinical medicine. Admittedly, both have benefitted from scientific insights as to processes and pathology that underpin their clinical manifestations, but a thorough history and careful examination remain essential prerequisites to the successful diagnosis and management of most of the disorders encompassed by each speciality. Hence, the overlap between these two specialities also remains an area of essentially clinical based assessment. However, the combination of newer imaging techniques and exciting novel therapeutic agents has begun to impact favourably on both the clinical manifestations of these disorders, and their outcome. As our clinical insights have been augmented by experience and a growing evidence base to guide diagnosis and management, there have been significant measurable improvements in both the quantity and quality of life associated with the development of lung disorders in patients with rheumatic disease. Even more exciting is the prospect that these benefits may be applicable to those with the lung diseases, even in the absence of a related rheumatic disorder. The recognition of the role of antibody-marked or sometimes -mediated disease has been an important factor in recognising the potential to apply the lessons learned from the treatment of lung disorders in rheumatic disease to the lung diseases in isolation.

This review article will discuss the lung conditions most commonly associated with rheumatic disorders and will focus on the following areas: interstitial lung disease, bronchiectasis, pulmonary hypertension and pleural effusions. Likewise, we will discuss the rheumatic disorders associated with these conditions which include: rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, primary Sjögren’s and mixed connective tissue disease.