Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is an immune-mediated pulmonary disorder involving inflammation of the lung interstitium, terminal bronchioles, and alveoli caused by the immune response to the inhalation of an offending environmental airborne agent. It can manifest as exertional dyspnea, fatigue, weight loss, and progressive respiratory failure if left untreated. Because of its protean features, it can be misdiagnosed as other common obstructive lung conditions such as asthma. If triggers are not avoided, it can progress to irreversible pulmonary fibrosis. In this article, we present the case of a 51-year-old male who presented to our hospital with recurrent bouts of dyspnea and cough, initially diagnosed as an asthma exacerbation. He received a final diagnosis of HP after investigation of his workplace revealed airborne spores and surface molds from multiple fungal species, serology revealed eosinophilia, and computed tomography showed bronchiectasis. Avoidance of occupational exposure resulted in significant improvement of his respiratory symptoms after two months.
J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect
D'souza, R. S., & Donato, A. A. (2017). Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: an overlooked cause of cough and dyspnea.. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect, 7 (2), 95-99. https://doi.org/10.1080/20009666.2017.1320202