Plasma lactate dehydrogenase: a marker of disease activity in cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis and extrinsic allergic alveolitis?

Matusiewicz, S.P.; Williamson, I.J.; Sime, P.J.; Brown, P.H.; Wenham, P.R.; Crompton, G.K.; Greening, A.P.

European Respiratory Journal 6(9): 1282-1286


ISSN/ISBN: 0903-1936
PMID: 8287944
Accession: 009203429

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Total plasma lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity may be elevated in cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis (CFA) and extrinsic allergic alveolitis (EAA), and may be a useful monitor of disease progress. In a retrospective, primary referral centre study, we compared LDH at presentation, prior to bronchoalveolar lavage BAL, and after treatment and follow-up with changes in pulmonary function, in patients with CFA, EAA and pulmonary sarcoidosis. Plasma levels of LDH at presentation in CFA (n = 47) and EAA (n = 10) were significantly higher than in patients with sarcoidosis (n = 36). LDH activity decreased in patients with improving lung function (EAA, p = 0.008; CFA, p = 0.02), whereas it increased in CFA patients with deteriorating lung function (p = 0.015). Total plasma LDH is a simple, though nonspecific test, which appears to reflect changes of disease activity in patients with CFA and EAA.