Skill Checkup: A 59-Year-Old Man With Dyspnea on Exertion and a Nonproductive Cough

Zab Mosenifar, MD


April 15, 2022

The Skill Checkup series provides a quick, case-style interactive quiz, highlighting key guideline- and evidence-based information to inform clinical practice.

A 59-year-old man, a farmer, presents with dyspnea on exertion and a nonproductive cough, which have been present for 6 months. Height is 5 feet 10 inch, and weight is 178 lb (body mass index, 25.5). Physical examination shows finger clubbing and velcro-like crackles in his lungs. Oxygen saturation is 87%. He was taking an immunosuppressant, but the symptoms progressed.

Pulmonary function testing demonstrates low residual volume, low forced vital capacity, low total lung capacity, decreased diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide, and poor lung compliance, consistent with a restrictive pattern.

Chest high-resolution CT shows architectural distortion with reticulation, honeycombing, ground-glass attenuation, and a usual interstitial pneumonia pattern.


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