Bird fancier’s lung: Studies of broncho-alveolar lavage and correlations with inhalation provocation tests
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The cellular, biochemical and immunologic characteristics of lavage fluid collected from 9 patients with bird fancier’s lung and from 4 asymptomatic pigeon breeders of whom 3 had positive serum precipitating antibodies were compared with clinical, biological and functional pulmonary responses after inhalation provocation tests. In the symptomatic subjects, the lavage fluid consistently revealed a lymphocytosis (34% to 90%) with elevation of proteins and immunoglobulins G, A and M which varied with the severity of the disease. In 5 of 8 cases, precipitating antibodies to avian antigens were found. All 9 patients with fancier’s lung had a positive bronchial provocation test which was more intense in the acute stage of the disease. In the asymptomatic subjects there was no elevation in the percentage of alveolar fluid lymphocytes, and the bronchial provocation test induced no clinical, biological or functional changes.
Key wordsBroncho-alveolar lavage Inhalation provocation test Bird fancier’s lung Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
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