Background and Objectives
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. To determine relapse of OP, additional chest CT was performed regularly or 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 (LDH), Krebs von den Lungen (KL)-6 and percentage 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 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.