Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: a complex lung disease
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HSP) is a common interstitial lung disease resulting from inhalation of a large variety of antigens by susceptible individuals. The disease is best classified as acute and chronic. Chronic HSP can be fibrosing or not. Fibrotic HSP has a large differential diagnosis and has a worse prognosis. The most common etiologies for HSP are reviewed. Diagnostic criteria are proposed for both chronic forms based on exposure, lung auscultation, lung function tests, HRCT findings, bronchoalveolar lavage, and biopsies. Treatment options are limited, but lung transplantation results in greater survival in comparison to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Randomized trials with new antifibrotic agents are necessary.