, Volume 168, Supplement 1, pp 984–992 | Cite as

Evaluation of alveolitis by studies of lung biopsies

  • Patricia L. Haslam
Clinical Relevance Of Alveolitis In Immunologic Lung Disorders


Immunocytochemical studies of lung biopsies from patients with cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis and those having fibrosing alveolitis associated with scleroderma show that numerous T-cells occur in the alveolar walls and septa of all patients with these diseases, implying that cell-mediated hypersensitivity reactions are involved in the pathogenesis. However, B-lymphocytes, mainly within lymphoid follicles, are also present and, in the CFA group, such patients, and those with <50% T-suppressor/cytotoxic cells in the diffuse T-cell infiltrates, may have a poorer prognosis. Interleukin-2 receptor expression indicates that T-cell activation is occurring within the lungs, and there is evidence that interstitial monocytes/macrophages and alveolar epithelial cells may play a more important role in antigen presentation than alveolar macrophages. These observations on the features of the inflammatory response in the interstitial tissues of patients with fibrosing alveolitis need to be incorporated into the existing hypothesis on pathogenetic mechanisms based mainly on lavage findings of alveolar macrophages and granulocytes.

Key words

Fibrosing alveolitis Immunocytochemical studies Lung biopsies Scleroderma Interleukin-2 receptor expression 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia L. Haslam
    • 1
  1. 1.National Heart and Lung InstituteLondonUK

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