Clubbing in hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Its prevalence and possible prognostic role

Arch Intern Med. 1990 Sep;150(9):1849-51.


To know the prevalence and prognostic significance of finger clubbing in hypersensitivity pneumonitis induced by avian antigen, this physical sign was evaluated in 82 patients who were followed up from 1 to 5 years (mean, 2.6 years). According to clinical, roentgenographic, and functional criteria, the patients were classified in one of three stages at admission as well as at least 1 year later. Digital clubbing was retrospectively recorded as present or absent by physical examination. Our results showed that 44 patients (51%) included in this study presented clubbing at the time of diagnosis. Sixteen of these patients presented with worsening of their lung disease, whereas only 5 of the 38 patients without clubbing incurred a worsening of their condition. This finding suggests that digital clubbing is frequent in pigeon breeder's disease and may help to predict clinical deterioration.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / complications*
  • Bird Fancier's Lung / complications*
  • Bird Fancier's Lung / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthropathy, Secondary Hypertrophic / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthropathy, Secondary Hypertrophic / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies