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Isolated IgG4-related interstitial lung disease: unusual histological and radiological features of a pathologically proven case

Thomas Wibmer*, Cornelia Kropf-Sanchen, Stefan Rüdiger, Ioanna Blanta, Kathrin M Stoiber, Wolfgang Rottbauer and Christian Schumann

Author Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine II, University Hospital of Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 23, 89081, Ulm, Germany

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Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine 2013, 8:22  doi:10.1186/2049-6958-8-22

Published: 19 March 2013


IgG4-related lung disease is commonly associated with autoimmune pancreatitis. Recently, isolated IgG4-related interstitial lung disease (ILD) without other organ involvement has newly been reported in two cases with clinical features of nonspecific interstitial pneumonitis (NSIP).

We report the first case of an isolated IgG4-related ILD in a 78-year-old man with dry cough and dyspnea, whose clinical findings proved to be different from NSIP. Serum IgG4 levels were increased. Chest CT scan revealed bilateral consolidations especially in the lower lobes, enlarged mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes and pleural effusions. Video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lung biopsy revealed a pattern similar to usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) and an abundant IgG4-positive plasma cell infiltration. He was effectively treated by steroid therapy.

Increasing recognition of IgG4 related diseases has led to a growing number of new entities. The novel concept of isolated IgG4-related ILD as a pulmonary manifestation of a systemic IgG4-related disorder should be taken into account as a possible differential diagnosis of ILD and mass-forming lesions, even when no other organ manifestation is clinically apparent at the time of diagnosis. Lung specific diagnostic criteria and algorithms are required to enhance diagnostic accuracy in cases of possible IgG4-related ILD.

Autoimmune disease; IgG4; Interstitial pneumonia; Lung fibrosis; Usual interstitial pneumonia