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Rheumatol Int. 1997;17(3):127-30.

A fatal case of severe SLE complicated by invasive aspergillosis.

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University of Saarland Medical Center, Homburg, Germany.


We report on the case of a 25-year-old female with severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who presented with pancytopenia, fever, arthralgia and abdominal pain. After antibiotic treatment, the patient was afebrile for 3 days before her temperature rose again. Dyspnoea and cough pointed towards pneumonia which was confirmed by X-ray. Different antibiotics and the antimycotic agent fluconazol were given. The lupus flare was treated with high-dose prednisolone. After a couple of days, the dyspnoea increased and mechanical ventilation became necessary. Bronchoscopy and transbronchial biopsy revealed the diagnosis of invasive aspergilloses. Despite of an immediate treatment with amphotericin B, the patient died because of respiratory insufficiency. The literature on aspergillosis in SLE is reviewed and prophylactic, diagnostic and therapeutic options are discussed for this infectious complication which has an 80% mortality in patients with SLE.

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