[An elderly woman with chronic pigeon-breeder's disease].Nihon Kyobu Shikkan Gakkai Zasshi. 1997 Oct; 35(10):1067-73.NK
A 64-year-old woman had been feeding more than 60 pigeons in a coop in her back yard for 35 years. Diffuse reticulonodular shadows were found on a chest radiograph obtained as part of an annual check-up eight years before admission to the hospital. She was given a tentative diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and was observed. She was admitted to our hospital because she noticed dry coughing and shortness of breath. A chest CT scan revealed segmentally distributed honeycombing and bronchi-bronchioloectasis. Tests for IgA and IgG antibodies to extracts of pigeon droppings in serum samples and in samples of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were strongly positive, as were tests for lymphocyte blastogenic responses to samples of pigeon serum Examination of lung-biopsy specimens obtained by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery revealed bronchiolitis, alveolitis, and honeycombing in a centrilobular distribution. The patient was given a diagnosis of pigeon-breeder's disease. Chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis without acute episodes might be misdiagnosed as idiopathic interstitial pneumonia or bronchiectasis, as happened in this case. The possibility of chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis should be considered when patients are suspected to have pulmonary fibrosis. It is important to obtain the detailed information on past or current avian contact, working history, and the home environment.