Aspiration pneumonia occurs when vomitus or reflux gets into the lungs, causing an often deadly form of pneumonia. Anyone (with or without scleroderma) can get aspiration pneumonia. It often occurs in systemic scleroderma patients due to esophagus problems, as esophageal dysmotility and an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter.
Symptoms include cough, coughing up sputum and sometimes fever. The pneumonia will usually show up on chest x-ray, but a sputum culture will show that the pneumonia insât caused by bacteria. Aspiration pneumonia should be suspected if a scleroderma patient has recurrent pneumonia, especially if there is an overlap or related myositis that might increase the risk for aspiration . As estimated 30-50% of cases lead to death. However, mild cases may cause no symptoms at all. Preventive measures include carefully following instructions for dealing with reflux (heartburn), such as taking medicines, elevating the head of the bed and not eating near bedtime
Scleroderma Lung Disease â Other Lung Complications in Systemic Sclerosis: Maria do Socorro Teixeira Moreira Almeida
Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine welcomes articles related to "Pneumonia"
Last date updated on July, 2014