Extrinsic allergic alveolitis

Respirology. 2006 May;11(3):262-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2006.00839.x.


Extrinsic allergic alveolitis (also known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis) is caused by repeated inhalation of mainly organic antigens by sensitized subjects. This induces a hypersensitivity response in the distal bronchioles and alveoli and subjects may present clinically with a variety of symptoms. The aims of this review are to describe the current concepts of the immunological response, the diverse clinical presentation of this disease, the relevant investigations and management, and areas for future studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic* / diagnosis
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic* / immunology
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic* / therapy
  • Biopsy
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • HLA Antigens / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lung Transplantation
  • Prognosis


  • Glucocorticoids
  • HLA Antigens