Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Pulmonary–renal syndrome: diagnostic challenge
  1. Sandra Isabel Correia,
  2. Isabel Eira,
  3. Andre Santa Cruz and
  4. Cristina Ângela
  1. Internal Medicine, Hospital of Braga, Braga, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sandra Isabel Correia, sandracorreia28{at}


Vasculitis presents several diagnostic challenges. Herein, we present a clinical case of a 71- year old woman, observed in our emergency department due to asthenia, vomiting and persistent cough. The patient had a history of progressive renal failure and anaemia over the last years. On physical examinations, fine pulmonary crackles were detected and laboratory test showed haemoglobin 69 g/L, creatinine 4 mg/dL, potassium 6.3 mmol/L, positive antineutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA), with proteins and dimorphic erythrocytes in the urinary sediment. CT analysis of the thorax revealed patchy ground glass haziness, likely due to diffuse alveolar haemorrhage. Pulmonary–renal syndrome was assumed, and induction therapy was initiated. She was discharged after 33 days of hospitalisation. On the following months, ANCA titres remained undetectable, but minor recovery of renal function was observed, requiring haemodialysis. Indeed, the use of aggressive induction therapy at early stage dramatically improve prognosis, maintenance of disease remission may be difficult, as relapse is frequent.

  • acute renal failure
  • vasculitis
  • lung function

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors SIC and IE: imaging analysis; ASC and CÂ: supervision; SIC: writing. All authors: review and editing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.