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Pathogenesis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis

Girard, Melissa; Israël-Assayag, Evelyne; Cormier, Yvon

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: April 2004 - Volume 4 - Issue 2 - p 93-98
Occupational disease

Purpose of review Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a group of immunologically mediated diseases caused by an abnormal response to a wide variety of inhaled antigens. Its pathogenesis is complex and involves many immunological concepts. This review discusses recent advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Recent findings Over the last 3 years, several studies on the pathogenesis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis have been published. New antigens have been identified. We now have a better understanding of the role of inflammatory cells and mediators, and promoting and protective factors have been suggested.

Summary Most of the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis remain incompletely understood. Current and future findings will not only help our understanding of the disease and its prevention, but also improve its treatment.

Institute of Cardiology and Pneumology Research Centre, Laval University, Laval Hospital, Quebec, Canada

Correspondence to Yvon Cormier, Centre de recherche, Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de l'Université Laval, Hôpital Laval, Québec, Canada Tel: +1 418 656 8711; fax: +1 418 656 4762; e-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.