Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) poses great difficulty in making an early diagnosis in elderly males, often presenting with atypical manifestations. Acute onset of empyematous pleural effusion has rarely been seen. Herein, we report a 66-year-old man with SLE presenting with rapid progression of bilateral pleural effusion. Diagnostic thoracocentesis disclosed neutrophil-predominant exudates and chest computed tomography revealed multiple loculated pleural effusions. Nevertheless, optimal antibiotic therapy plus surgical decortication of the pleura did not improve his condition. The diagnosis of SLE was readily established after LE cells were accidentally found in the pleural effusion. Large amounts of pleural effusion subsided soon after high dose corticosteroid therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases