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I'm in the process of being diagnosed, in that I had many odd symptoms happening in the past 2 years that culminated with pericarditis, which lead to immunology tests etc. Initial impression of rheumatologist is that it is lupus but am doing more tests to confirm. He put me on 15mg prednisolone for 2 weeks, tapering down to 5mg over another 4 weeks. I'm in the second week of 15mg. Pericarditis is now resolved apparently but some days I am so breathless I can't do much at all. Is this a 'normal' lupus thing? I had chest rays done when pericarditis found and they are fine. I'm seeing the rheumatologist Friday but I wonder whether I need to go to hospital meanwhile? It can't be right to not be able to breathe after minor effort, surely.

2 Replies

Hi Purpletop, i've been suffering from breathlessness for 12 months now, i ended up with a partially collapsed lung due to a severe chest infection (which remained undetected by 3 different GPs at my surgery!) Iast December. I have seen two different chest consultants (I asked for a second opinion) and I have interstitial shadowing on my lung now. This is a 'side effect' of Connective Tissue Disease. I am still breathless on exertion and if I'm tired then it's even worse. I'm waiting for a VQ scan to see if I have any clots on my lung - but please don't think this is normal cos I don't think it is - my consultant said he didn't think it would be clots but they can't think of anything to explain my constant breathlessness!! Hopefully your rheumatoogist will be able to throw some light on it for you. Good luck. Angela xx


Thank you for responding, i have since seen my rheumatologist and he is sending me to have a ct scan and refer me to a breathing specialist to check the gas exchanges in the lungs. He didnt mention vq scan, i wonder if this gas exchange measure is that. I'm having the CT scan tomorrow. Meanwhile the breathing has improved, i dont understand what this is, something that comes and goes and not necessarily related to exertion... Good luck with your vq test, I hope it shows nothing serious and it turns out that it is something simple.


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