What is the shrinking lung syndrome in lupus?What is the shrinking lung syndrome in lupus?

Answers from our Doctors

fwolfe's picture
Dr. Frederick Wolfe says:

A rare feature of lupus, that sounds worse than it is, is called the "shrinking lung syndrome. The symptoms are shortness of breath, and often some chest pain when breathing deeply. X-rays and CAT scans show small, clear lungs.

Breathing ( pulmonary function) tests demonstrate stiff lungs. Sometimes the diaphragm, the big muscle beneath the lungs, is elevated, reducing lung size.

Lack of good chest expansion and poor motion of the diaphragm are two possible reasons for the decreased lung function.

Generally the prognosis is good, though increased lupus treatment with steroids and immune suppressing medication may be needed.

Click here: http://www.springerlink.com/content/p6q310658t2kx0j6/fulltext.pdf

Answered on: Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 17:13


Commenting: Guest
06/16/2012 - 14:26

the shrinking lung syndrome occur only in 10 percent in addition to pneumonitis

Commenting: Guest
12/10/2013 - 02:14

I have this condition and I have so much trouble breathing , I developed this from [SLE]lupus ... Right now I have bronchitis in my upper right lung which is tha worse one , I can't even walk from my bedroom to tha kitchen ....

Commenting: Ashlyn Johnson
06/25/2015 - 00:02

It is a very serious problem for the lung patients who's faces this type of pain in lungs and hard domyassignmentforme.com to breath they have to concerned their doctor immediately or take the pain killers and get some oxygen to regulate their breath system which is very helpful for them to get relief.

Commenting: Guest
03/10/2016 - 15:10

About 7 yrs ago my MD told me that I only use 45% of my lungs and did
Nothing about that or any of my other symptoms. I finally got tired of being sick and the swelling of my limbs and discoloration,etc..
I pd out of pocket to go see a Rhemy Dr. I found out I had SLE Lupus, RA, OA, fibromyalgia, hypertension(severe). Etc.. The dr wanted me to apply for disability but I have always worked 2jobs, I stubborn, so I was constantly getting sicker and sicker I was in the hospital 3 to 4 times a yr. We moved to Fl, my neighbor was a nurse and I was sick again coughing, runny nose, allergies I kept sayin. My neighbor noticed that I wasn't making sense when I spoke, my husband said I couldn't catch my breath and my lips were blue. I had phenomena and no oxygen was going to my brain. I had no memory of the previous 2 months. Before I left the hospital they filed the paperwork for disability ( I only remember 2wks of, but I was there almost 2months.)
So I'm now on oxygen at 44yrs old, could it be this lung shrikage?

Commenting: Guest
04/06/2016 - 13:16

I was recently diagnosed with this condition. I have had Lupus for over 30 years. I live in NW Montana and not sure if I am getting the best help from my doctors here. None of them have ever heard of the disease or dealt with it. I was wondering if anyone knew of doctors or places that have experience with this. I am willing to become a "guinea pig."

Commenting: Guest
04/08/2016 - 07:13

I also have just been diagnosed with this - and it is rare that is the reason most doctors have not seen this. I am on oxygen pain meds and heavy steroids. Hopefully it will reverse itself. From what I read it can or cannot - a wait and see game. How fun!!!!

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