[Pyopneumothorax in rheumatoid arthritis].Rev Mal Respir. 2017 Nov; 34(9):1011-1015.RM
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the joints but which frequently includes extra articular effects, including pulmonary nodules, which grow faster under immunosuppressive treatment.
A 74 years old man, with mild asbestosis, underwent treatment with methotrexate then leflunomide (LEF) for seropositive RA. In February 2014, during monitoring of his asbestosis, chest CT scan showed the appearance of thick-walled cavitating lung nodules, with a central and sub pleural distribution. The patient was asymptomatic. Bronchoalveolar lavage excluded infection and tumor. LEF was stopped but in May 2014, the patient was admitted with respiratory infection and a pyopneumothorax which required surgical management. The postoperative course was complicated with a persistent pneumothorax.
We describe a case of RA complicated by a pyopneumothorax after treatment with LEF. The risk of this complication could be reduced by regular chest imaging.