Extrinsic allergic alveolitis caused by pigeon breeding at a high altitude (2,240 meters). Hemodynamic behavior of pulmonary circulation
Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic
Bird Fancier's Lung
The hemodynamic characteristics of the pulmonary circulation were examined in 10 patients with proved extrinsic allergic alveolitis caused by pigeons (EAA-P) raised at a high altitude. All patients had lung biopsies that showed an interstitial inflammatory response with vascular lesions. At rest, all patients had mean pulmonary pressures (PAP) greater than 16 mmHg; the average PAP was 22 +/- 12 mmHg for the whole group. Pulmonary vascular resistance was high and the mean for the whole group was 225 +/- 25 d.s.cm-5. The pulmonary artery diastolic-pulmonary wedge pressure (PAd-PWP) difference was elevated and averaged 8.5 +/- 2 mmHg. All patients were hypoxemic with elevated AaDO2. With exercise, both PAP and PAd-PWP increased abnormally. While breathing oxygen (FIO2, 99.6%) PAP decreased an average of 7 mmHg (p less than 0.05) and PAd-PWP decreased an average of 5 mmHg (p less than 0.05) without a significant change in PWP. The calculated compliance of the elastic pulmonary arteries in EAA-P was not different from that in normal subjects. Alveolar hypoxia produced mainly by EAA-P and presumably enhanced by living at a high altitude appeared to be the factors in the genesis of pulmonary hypertension, because pulmonary artery diastolic pressure and PAd-PWP difference were correlated with arterial oxygen saturation.