Article Text

Diffuse alveolar haemorrhage and Libman-Sacks endocarditis: a rare presentation of antiphospholipid syndrome
  1. Brianna Bielski,
  2. Nikhil H Shah,
  3. Donevan Westerveld,
  4. Carolyn Stalvey
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Brianna Bielski, briannaeve{at}


A 26-year-old woman with a history of idiopathic thrombocytopaenic purpura and a 1-year history of blood-streaked sputum presented after a severe episode of haemoptysis with dyspnoea. Chest imaging revealed diffuse ground glass and bronchovascular nodules. Bronchoscopy revealed bilateral diffuse alveolar haemorrhage (DAH). Sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage studies were negative for infectious aetiologies. A transthoracic echocardiogram revealed Libman-Sacks endocarditis with severe mitral regurgitation and physical examination revealed retinal artery occlusion and Osler’s nodes. The patient had an increased anticardiolipin Immunoglobulin IgG and anti-B2 glycoprotein IgG, suggesting antiphospholipid syndrome (APLS). The patient was then started on high-dose methylprednisolone and had an improvement in her dyspnoea and haemoptysis. She was also started on anticoagulation as treatment for Libman-Sacks endocarditis. APLS should be considered as a possible underlying aetiology for unusual presentations of DAH with concurrent Libman-Sacks endocarditis in non-intravenous drug users with existing autoimmune disorders.

  • valvar diseases
  • haematology (incl blood transfusion)
  • malignant and benign haematology
  • rheumatology
  • respiratory medicine

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  • Contributors BB, NHS, DW and CS participated in this patient’s care and contributed to this work as a team. BB drafted the original manuscript, which was edited and critically revised by each team member. NHS and DW obtained relevant images and provided pertinent explanations. CS, the attending physician, modified and approved the final manuscript.

  • 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.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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

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