Pleural involvement in systemic autoimmune disorders.
Systemic autoimmune diseases, a heterogeneous group of immunologically mediated inflammatory disorders including multiorgan involvement, can affect the pleura with various frequencies, either as a single presenting feature or as part of multisystem involvement. Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus represent the most common immunological diseases that affect the pleural cavity; however, there is considerable variation regarding the reported prevalence, natural history and prognosis of pleural involvement in both conditions. The definition of pleural disease in the remaining systemic autoimmune disorders is unquestionably imprecise and assumptive, since it is risky to support premises based on single case reports or retrospective data from very small series. In this article, we will review the manifestations of pleural disease caused by rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, polymyositis/dermatomyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, ankylosing spondylitis, Sjogren's syndrome and Wegener's granulomatosis.
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