Respiratory function in extrinsic allergic alveolitis caused by pigeons. Clinical, pathological and functional correlation
Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic
Bird Fancier's Lung
Lung function tests (LFT) were performed in 71 patients with proven extrinsic allergic alveolitis due to pigeons (EAA-P), and they were correlated with lung biopsy (LB) findings. Lung function studies were analyzed to evaluate the clinical course of these patients treated with corticosteroids. Restrictive pulmonary function impairment was found in all cases (vital capacity 38 +/- 4%), residual volume was increased in 9 out of 14 patients (64%) (RV = 0.51 +/- 0.06 L.) and bronchial obstruction was a feature in 11/14 patients (78%) (MMEF = 53 +/- 4%). In all cases a low Pa02 was observed (44 +/- 2 mmHg) and in six an increase in PaC02 was detected. The vital capacity did not correlate with the degree of inflammation or fibrosis observed by LB. A significant negative correlation was found between Pa02 and the degree of inflammation (r = 0.68, p X 0.05) as well as with fibrosis + inflammation degrees (r = -0.63, p less than 0.05). In general, initial LFT and clinical improvement occur simultaneously. Lung function tests support the diagnosis of EAA-P, but are not capable of separating inflammation from lung fibrosis.