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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999 Feb;103(2 Pt 1):315-20.

Chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis in Japan: a nationwide epidemiologic survey.

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1
Pulmonary Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pulmonary fibrosis inevitably develops in patients with chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP).

OBJECTIVE:

We conducted a nationwide epidemiologic study in Japan to evaluate the frequency and clinical characteristics of chronic HP.

METHODS:

This report is on 36 cases of chronic HP, including 10 patients with summer-type HP, 5 patients with home-related HP, 7 patients with bird fancier's lung, 5 patients with isocyanate-induced HP, 4 patients with farmer's lung, and 5 patients with other types of chronic HP. Chronic HP was further subgrouped into 2 types: one type of patients were first seen with chronic disease (9 patients), and the other type became chronic with fibrosis after repeated acute episodes (27 patients).

RESULTS:

The upper lung field was frequently involved in chronic HP (17%). Ground-glass opacities were observed in 57% and air space consolidation in 30% of the patients. Honeycombing was apparent in 37%. Twenty-six of 28 patients had antibodies to the presumptive antigens. Five of 8 patients with chronic HP were positive for antigen-induced lymphocyte proliferation. In 2 cases patients did not have detectable antibodies to causative antigens, although antigen-induced lymphocyte proliferation was detectable. The ratio of CD4 to CD8 in BAL lymphocytes was lowest in isocyanate-induced HP (mean 0.22) and tended to be high in farmer's lung and bird fancier's lung. Granulomas were observed in 39% and Masson bodies in 42% of specimens on histologic examination. Administration of prednisolone was effective in 58% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

The insidious form of chronic HP has probably been misdiagnosed as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis when a good history was not taken and immunologic (especially antigen-induced lymphocyte proliferation) and BAL testing were not counted.

PMID:
9949324
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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