BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-220527
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms

Pseudomonas aeruginosa as an unusual cause of cavitating lung lesion

  1. Mathina Darmalingam2
  1. 1 Academic Foundation Programme, Northeast Thames Foundation School, Whipps Cross University Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Whipps Cross University Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Justin D Salciccioli, justin.salciccioli{at}
  • Accepted 16 June 2017
  • Published 14 July 2017


A 31-year-old woman with systemic lupus erythematosus presented to the emergency department with cough for 1 week. Chest radiograph demonstrated cavitating lesion in the right upper zone with surrounding ground-glass change. Blood culture results from the day of hospital presentation grew Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Sputum sample and pleural fluid grew P. aeruginosa and were negative for acid-fast bacilli. P. aeruginosa is a rare cause of cavitating lung lesion and has been associated with immunocompromised hosts. Most reports of cavitating P. aeruginosa lesions have been identified in patients who are immunocompromised secondary to HIV.The current case highlights the potential for infection in patients who are immunosuppressed therapeutically and appropriate investigations are necessary to rule out common causes of cavitating lung lesions.


  • Contributors JDS and HW were responsible for management of the subject and MD was the respiratory consultant of record during the hospital admission. JDS and HW drafted the report, obtained patient consent and performed relevant literature search for the case. MD was responsible for critical review and editing of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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