Caplans syndrome natural history, complications and prognosis
Caplans syndrome Microchapters
Caplans syndrome natural history, complications and prognosis On the Web
American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Caplans syndrome natural history, complications and prognosis
If left untreated, some patients might develop irreversible pulmonary fibrosis.
Natural History, Complications, and Prognosis
- The patients with Caplan syndrome are mostly asymptomatic initially.  
- Caplan nodules appear with or later than the onset of Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Caplan nodules may lead to cavitation or calcification with pleural effusion or in rare cases pneumothorax.
- Lung nodules in Caplan syndrome are rapidly growing; gain final size within weeks to month and then remain unchanged for years long.
- Most of the lung nodules resolve spontaneously while some leave behind asteroid scarring. In 10% cases, cavitation and calcification happen.
- There are cases of Caplan syndrome with radiologic findings of Caplan nodules but no rheumatoid factor.
- The symptoms of dyspnea and cough typically develop with the progression of the disease.
- If left untreated, patients with Caplan syndrome may progress to develop wheeze in the chest which doesn't change with cough suggestive of irreversible pulmonary fibrosis.
- Increased risk for tuberculosis and aspergillosis
- Pleural effusion
- Progressive massive fibrosis (scarring)
- Side effects of medications
Caplan syndrome rarely causes serious breathing trouble or disability due to lung problems.
The nodules may pre-date the appearance of rheumatoid arthritis by several years. Otherwise, prognosis is as for RA; lung disease may remit spontaneously, but pulmonary fibrosis may also progress.
- Benedek, Thomas G. (1973). "Rheumatoid pneumoconiosis". The American Journal of Medicine. 55 (4): 515–524. doi:10.1016/0002-9343(73)90209-X. ISSN 0002-9343.
- Alaya, Zeineb; Braham, Mouna; Aissa, Sana; Kalboussi, Houda; Bouajina, Elyès (2018). "A case of Caplan syndrome in a recently diagnosed patient with silicosis: A case report". Radiology Case Reports. 13 (3): 663–666. doi:10.1016/j.radcr.2018.03.004. ISSN 1930-0433.
- Lindars, D. C.; Davies, D. (1967). "Rheumatoid pneumoconiosis: A study in colliery populations in the East Midlands coalfield". Thorax. 22 (6): 525–532. doi:10.1136/thx.22.6.525. ISSN 0040-6376.
- Caplan, A.; Payne, R. B.; Withey, J. L. (1962). "A Broader Concept of Caplan's Syndrome Related to Rheumatoid Factors". Thorax. 17 (3): 205–212. doi:10.1136/thx.17.3.205. ISSN 0040-6376.