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Clinical characteristics classified by the serum KL-6 level in patients with organizing pneumonia.

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Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Tokyo Medical University,Tokyo, Japan.



The serum Krebs von der Lungen-6 (KL-6) level is a useful marker correlated with the severity of various interstitial lung diseases. There have been few reports about the clinical characteristics of organizing pneumonia (OP) associated with the serum KL-6 levels.


This study was performed to determine whether the serum KL-6 levels can help determine the optimal treatment for OP.


Patients diagnosed with OP by clinical, radiological and histopathological findings were retrospectively reviewed. The OP patients were classified into two groups based on their serum KL-6 levels: normal KL-6 and high KL-6 groups. The two groups were compared with regard to their clinical and radiological data and therapeutic response one month after the start of treatment.


The clinical records of twenty-two patients diagnosed with OP were reviewed. The serum KL-6 level was elevated in 11 of the 22 patients. There were no obvious differences in the clinical data between the two groups, although patients in the normal KL-6 group tended to have a fever. There were no significant differences in the chest X-ray (CXR) score or computed tomography (CT) score between the two groups. The CXR scores were correlated with the serum KL-6 levels. At 1 month after the diagnosis, 11 patients who needed treatment with prednisolone were included in the high KL-6 group.


Patients with normal KL-6 levels showed lower CXR and CT scores. The serum KL-6 level on admission is a useful marker to judge the need for corticosteroid treatment in OP patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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