Invasive pulmonary fungal infections in patients with connective tissue disease: a retrospective study from northern China
Invasive pulmonary fungal infection (IPFI) is a potentially fatal complication in patients with connective tissue disease (CTD). The current study aimed to uncover the clinical characteristics and risk factors of patients with IPFI-CTD. The files of 2186 CTD patients admitted to a single center in northern China between January 2011 and December 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 47 CTD patients with IPFI were enrolled into this study and assigned to the CTD-IPFI group, while 47 uninfected CTD patients were assigned to the control group. Clinical manifestations were recorded, and risk factors of IPFI were calculated by stepwise logistical regression analysis. Forty-seven (2.15%) CTD patients developed IPFI. Systemic lupus erythematosus patients were responsible for the highest proportion (36.17%) of cases with IPFI. Candida albicans (72.3%) accounted for the most common fungal species. CTD-IPFI patients had significantly elevated white blood cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein and fasting glucose values compared to controls (P<0.05). Cough, sputum and blood in phlegm were the most common symptoms. Risk factors of IPFI in CTD included maximum prednisone dose ≥30 mg/day within 3 months prior to infection, anti-microbial drug therapy, and interstitial pneumonia. CTD patients who have underlying interstitial pneumonia, prior prednisone or multiple antibiotics, were more likely to develop IPFI.