Clinical Diagnosis of Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Yves Lacasse, Moises Selman, Ulrich Costabel, Jean Charles Dalphin, Masayuki Ando, Ferran Morell, Riitta Erkinjuntti-Pekkanen, Nestor Müller, Thomas V. Colby, Mark Schuyler, Yvon Cormier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

450 Scopus citations


The diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is difficult and often relies on histopathology. Our objective was to identify diagnostic criteria and to develop a clinical prediction rule for this disease. Consecutive patients presenting a condition for which HP was considered in the differential diagnosis underwent a program of simple standardized diagnostic procedures. High-resolution computed tomography scan and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) defined the presence or absence of HP. Patients underwent surgical lung biopsy when the computed tomography scan, BAL, and other diagnostic procedures failed to yield a diagnosis. A cohort of 400 patients (116 with HP, 284 control subjects) provided data for the rule derivation. Six significant predictors of HP were identified: (1) exposure to a known offending antigen, (2) positive precipitating antibodies to the offending antigen, (3) recurrent episodes of symptoms, (4) inspiratory crackles on physical examination, (5) symptoms occurring 4 to 8 hours after exposure, (6) and weight loss. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.93 (95% confidence interval: 0.90-0.95). The rule retained its accuracy when validated in a separate cohort of 261 patients. The diagnosis of HP can often be made or rejected with confidence, especially in areas of high or low prevalence, respectively, without BAL or biopsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)952-958
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2003


  • Decision support techniques
  • Interstitial
  • Lung diseases
  • Probability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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