Thoracic Research and Practice
Original Article

Pulmonary Function and Diffusing Capacity of Carbon Monoxide in Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis: An Observational Study of 152 Patients


Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India


Department of Biostatistics, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Thorac Res Pract 2024; 25: 51-56
DOI: 10.5152/ThoracResPract.2024.23038
Read: 879 Downloads: 400 Published: 06 February 2024

OBJECTIVE: Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is an inflammatory and/or fibrotic lung disease. The restrictive lung function with low diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (DLCO) is common in interstitial lung diseases (ILD). There are limited data on pulmonary function test (PFT) in HP and its role for diagnosis is questionable. We analyzed the data of 152 HP patients for type of defect, lung volume, and DLCO.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The present study is a retrospective analysis of 152 patients at one of the tertiary chest institutes in India. All diagnosed cases with at least spirometry were included. PFT findings were classified and graded as obstructive, restrictive, and mixed patterns. The correlation of PFT was calculated with disease duration and 6MWT distance.

RESULTS: The majority were female [106 (70%)], with a mean age of 47.8 ± 12.3 years. Spirometry with lung volume data were available for 97% patients. PFT was abnormal in 118 (80%) cases. Among the patterns of abnormality, the most common type was restrictive (74%) followed by mixed (15%) and obstructive (11%) with the majority in the severe to very severe grade. The mean total lung capacity (TLC) and residual volume (RV) were reduced, with the grade more severe when the pattern of abnormality was restrictive while the RV/ TLC was higher suggestive of air tapping. DLCO data were available for 132 (87%) cases, with levels decreased in 67%. The severity of DLCO was highest when the pattern of abnormality was restrictive. One of the PFT parameters was abnormal in 137 (90%) cases, with isolated decreased DLCO levels seen in 16 (10%) cases. Forced vital capacity (FVC), TLC, and DLCO showed positive correlation with 6MWT distance (FVC r = .22, P = .02; TLC r = .28, P = .003; DLCO r = .30, P = .002).

CONCLUSION: The PFT abnormality is seen in >80% of HP patients. All types of abnormality were seen, with the restrictive pattern being the most common. Isolated decreased DLCO levels were seen in 10% of cases. We advised to do full PFT for diagnosis and followup of HP

Cite this article as: Spalgais S, Mrigpuri P, Ravishankar N, Kumar R. Pulmonary function and diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide in hypersensitivity pneumonitis: An observational study of 152 patients. Thorac Res Pract. 2024;25(2):51-56.

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