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Pulmonary leptospirosis

Bethlem, Eduardo Pamplona MD, PhD*; Carvalho, Carlos Roberto Ribeiro MD, PhD

Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine: September 2000 - Volume 6 - Issue 5 - p 436-441
Interstitial lung disease

Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonosis affecting wild and domestic mammals. It is most commonly transmitted to humans by indirect contact with infected animals. Vascular injury, mainly capillary damage, and hemorrhagic diathesis are prominent features in the affected organs. The most severe form of the disease presents with high fever, intense jaundice, hemorrhagic diathesis, hepatic and renal dysfunction, mental status changes, and cardiovascular collapse. Focal or diffuse areas containing alveoli filled with erythrocytes characterize the pulmonary involvement. These latter conditions, although unusual, are associated with significant mortality.

*Pulmonary Division, University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Division of Respiratory Diseases - Heart Institute (InCor), University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil, São Paulo, Brazil.

Correspondence to Eduardo Pamplona Bethlem, MD, PhD, rua General Glicério 126 apt. 402, CEP 22245-120, Rio di Janeiro, Brazil; e-mail:

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.