Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis: Clinical Perspectives (Report)
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HSP), or extrinsic allergic alveolitis, is a lymphocytic and granulomatous inflammatory disease of the lung parenchyma and bronchioles caused by repeated inhalations of airborne environmental antigens to which a patient has been previously sensitized. (1) The numerous potential antigens include many different complex organic particles from bacterial, fungal, and animal sources but also can be low molecular weight chemicals, such as isocyanates. (2-4) Recognizing HSP is clinically challenging because, among different patients, the disease process can be variable in clinical presentation, severity, and natural history. However, in evaluating patients with interstitial lung disease of unknown cause, HSP is always an important diagnosis to consider because it is treatable through avoidance of the relevant antigen. CLINICAL CHALLENGES
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