[Clinical and immunopathological aspects of hypersensitivity pneumonitis]

Rev Mal Respir. 2004 Sep;21(4 Pt 1):769-81. doi: 10.1016/s0761-8425(04)71418-7.
[Article in French]


Introduction: Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a pulmonary disease with symptoms of dyspnoea and cough resulting from the inhalation of an antigen to which the patient has been previously sensitized.

State of art: Acute and subacute HP represent the most active forms of the disease which may become chronic while remaining progressive. HP may also evolve to end-stage lung disease. Clinical symptoms and signs tend to be non-specific and the diagnosis of HP often relies on the clinical context. The immune response is initiated when the alveolar macrophage phagocytoses the antigen, provoking the expansion of lymphocytes T and B that reach the pulmonary parenchyma through the systemic circulation. This reaction is amplified by the expression of a number of inflammatory mediators.

Perspective and conclusion: This article summarizes our current understanding of the diagnostic approach and immunological mechanisms related to HP.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / diagnosis
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / immunology*
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / metabolism
  • Antibodies / metabolism
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / pathology
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Protease Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / metabolism


  • Antibodies
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Pulmonary Surfactants