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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 96-101

Diffuse Alveolar Hemorrhage: A Rare Underlying Disease in a Child with Chronic Respiratory Symptoms

1 Department of Pediatrics, PCMC's Post Graduate Institute YCM Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajesh Kulkarni
Department of Pediatrics, PCMC'S Post Graduate Institute YCM Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipcares.ipcares_3_23

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Background: Diffuse lung disease (DLD), conventionally known as interstitial lung disease (ILD), encompasses a spectrum of diseases involving the pulmonary parenchyma with impairment of gaseous exchange. Most of the diseases under DLD have similar presentations, but appropriate investigations can delineate the exact disease. Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) is one of the diseases under this umbrella group of DLD. Clinical Description: A 3-year-old girl suffering from persistent breathlessness and intermittent hypoxic exacerbations over 1 year, presented to us with acute respiratory worsening. She was underweight with stunting and had severe pallor. She had received blood transfusions in previous hospitalizations. Chest-X-ray shows reticular opacities, with High Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) chest showing bilateral diffuse ground glass opacities involving all lobes with the prominent pulmonary artery. The broncho-alveolar lavage showed hemosiderin-laden macrophages, thereby confirming alveolar hemorrhage. Antinuclear antibody was positive, though double-stranded DNA and Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody were negative. The child was thus diagnosed with a case of DAH, probably, immune mediated. Management: The child was treated with supportive care, including oxygen, intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and packed red cell transfusion. Even after improvement in hemoglobin, oxygen dependency persisted. The child was then administered Intravenous Immunoglobulin and prednisolone, to which the child showed a response with gradual weaning off oxygen. Conclusions: In any child presenting with persistent respiratory symptoms, especially exercise intolerance, over a prolonged period with intermittent hypoxic exacerbations, a pediatrician should consider diagnoses beyond infections and multitrigger wheezing. Such manifestations, particularly if associated with failure to thrive, may be due to DLD. DAH, a rare form of DLD, may be a possibility in such children.

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