What is the pathophysiology of mold-related hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP)?

Updated: Sep 18, 2017
  • Author: Shih-Wen Huang, MD; Chief Editor: Harumi Jyonouchi, MD  more...
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Answer

The clinical course of this disease widely varies, and its diagnosis is clinically challenging because no specific test or biomarker allows a consistent diagnosis. [12] Therefore, a combination of symptoms, bronchoalveolar lavage findings, chest imaging, laboratory results, and biopsies are needed for an accurate diagnosis.

Regardless of the cause or the responsible environment, the histopathology is similar and usually consists of a granulomatous interstitial bronchiolocentric pneumonitis characterized by the presence of poorly formed granulomas and a prominent interstitial infiltrates composed of lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages. Importantly, patients with chronic HP may evolve to interstitial fibrosis or develop emphysematous changes. Identification of biomarkers that may predict outcome and progression is essential for the success of the treatment.


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