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Pathology of Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Definition

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, also known as hypersensitivity pneumonia and extrinsic allergic alveolitis, is a form of interstitial lung disease characterized by an immunologically mediated inflammatory response (hypersensitivity reaction) to inhaled organic antigens in susceptible individuals.

A related entity is “hot tub lung,” which is currently believed to be a hypersensitivity pneumonitis –like response to nontuberculous mycobacteria found in hot tubs and other warm-water aerosols.
Debate persists, however, regarding whether hot tub lung is a hypersensitivity reaction or a true infection.
For an excellent discussion of this issue, the reader is referred to the comprehensive review by Sood et al.

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