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PLoS One. 2019 Aug 1;14(8):e0220462. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220462. eCollection 2019.

Serum CXCL9 and CCL17 as biomarkers of declining pulmonary function in chronic bird-related hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Clinical Research Center, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Sysmex Corporation, Nishi-Ku, Kobe, Japan.


The clinical course of chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) with fibrosis is similar to that of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Current research is expected to identify biomarkers effective in predicting the deterioration of lung function in a clinical setting. Our group analyzed the relationships between the following parameters in chronic bird-related HP: patient characteristics, serum markers, lung function, HRCT findings, BALF profiles, and the worsening of lung function. We also analyzed serum levels of CXCL9, CCL17, and Krebs von den Lungen 6 (KL-6) as serum markers. Patients showing declines in vital capacity (VC) of over 5% at 6 months after first admission were categorized as the "decline group"; the others were categorized as the "stable group." The serum level of CCL17 and the percentage of BALF macrophages were significantly higher in the decline group compared to the stable group. Serum levels of CXCL9 and CCL17 were significant variables in a multivariate logistic regression analysis of factors associated with VC decline. Patients with a chemokine profile combining lower serum CXCL9 and higher serum CCL17 exhibited significantly larger VC decline in a cluster analysis. Higher serum CCL17 and lower serum CXCL9 were important predictors of worsening lung function in patients with chronic bird-related HP.

Conflict of interest statement

Yoshihisa Nukui, Takehiro Hasegawa and Yasunari Miyazaki are pending patent application belonging to Sysmex Corporation and Tokyo Medical and Dental University. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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