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Ann Thorac Med. 2020 Jan-Mar;15(1):15-20. doi: 10.4103/atm.ATM_311_19. Epub 2020 Jan 2.

A retrospective clinical research of relapsed organizing pneumonia.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Respiratory Medicine, Toho University Ohashi Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan.



Organizing pneumonia (OP) usually responds spectacularly well to initial treatment, but relapses can occur and some cases run a fatal course. Still, the issue of relapse has been addressed in relatively few studies, and predictors have not been clarified. The purpose of this study was to examine the pattern of relapses in OP, to determine whether relapse affects morbidity and mortality, and to identify possible predictors of relapse.


Blood sampling, pulmonary function testing, computed tomography (CT) of the chest, and bronchofiberscopy were performed for all patients and were retrospectively reviewed along with clinical information. Periodical chest CT was conducted and additional chest CT was performed when relapse of OP was clinically suspected. All patients were followed regarding treatment response, treatment duration, and presence of relapse. Results were compared between two groups based on serum concentrations of surfactant protein (SP)-D: normal SP-D and high SP-D.


Twenty-two patients were analyzed in this study. SP-D showed a negative correlation with percutaneous oxygen saturation and positive correlations with serum lactate dehydrogenase, Krebs von den Lungen (KL)-6, and percentage of lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Prognosis was good for all patients, but relapse was significantly more frequent in the high SP-D group (6 cases) than in the normal SP-D group (0 cases; P = 0.049). Serum KL-6 and percentage of monocytes in BAL were significantly higher, and pulmonary vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 s were significantly lower in the high SP-D group than in the low SP-D group.


When treating cases of OP with high serum concentrations of SP-D, attention should be paid to the possibility of relapse.


Monocytes; organizing pneumonia; relapse; surfactant protein-D

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