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Occupational extrinsic allergic alveolitis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stephen Bourke, Professor Jane Calvert, Professor Christopher Baldwin, Dr Sylvia Worthy


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• Extrinsic allergic alveolitis (EAA) is an immune disease in which certain antigens provoke granulomatous inflammation in the distal airways and alveoli of susceptible subjects. • Bird breeder's lung, farmer's lung and humidifier lung are the most common clinical EAA syndromes in the UK. • Acute EAA presents as breathlessness, fever and malaise occurring 4 h to 8 h after antigen exposure. Chronic EAA is characterized by chronic breathlessness and lung fibrosis. • EAA is a dynamic and variable condition which remits and recurs in relation to antigen exposure. Chest radiographs may be normal between episodes, but typically show subtle diffuse lung infiltrates during acute disease. • High resolution CT in EAA typically shows areas of ground-glags opacification and areas of reduced attenuation in subacute disease. Interstitial fibrosis and emphysema are features of chronic EAA. © 2003 The British Institute of Radiology.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bourke SJ, Calvert JE, Baldwin CI, Worthy S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Imaging

Year: 2003

Volume: 15

Issue: 1

Pages: 23-30

Print publication date: 01/01/2003

ISSN (print): 0965-6812

ISSN (electronic): 1748-8818

Publisher: British Institute of Radiology


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