BACKGROUND: Pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE) has been described in hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) yet its functional implications are unclear. Combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE) has occasionally been described in never-smokers with HP, but epidemiological data regarding its prevalence is sparse. CTs in a large HP cohort were therefore examined to identify the prevalence and effects of PPFE and emphysema. Methods: 233 HP patients had CT extents of interstitial lung disease (ILD) and emphysema quantified to the nearest 5%. Lobar percentage pleural involvement of PPFE was quantified on a 4-point categorical scale: 0 = absent, 1 = affecting <10%, 2 = affecting 10–33%, 3 = affecting >33%. Marked PPFE reflected a total lung score of ≥3/18. Results were evaluated against FVC, DLco and mortality. RESULTS: Marked PPFE prevalence was 23% whilst 23% of never-smokers had emphysema. Following adjustment for patient age, gender, smoking status, and ILD and emphysema extents, marked PPFE independently linked to reduced baseline FVC (p = 0.0002) and DLco (p = 0.002) and when examined alongside the same covariates, independently linked to worsened survival (p = 0.01). CPFE in HP demonstrated a characteristic functional profile of artificial lung volume preservation and disproportionate DLco reduction. CPFE did not demonstrate a worsened outcome when compared to HP patients without emphysema beyond that explained by CT extents of ILD and emphysema. CONCLUSIONS: PPFE is not uncommon in HP, and is independently associated with impaired lung function and increased mortality. Emphysema was identified in 23% of HP never-smokers. CPFE appears not to link to a malignant microvascular phenotype as outcome is explained by ILD and emphysema extents.

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Respiratory Medicine

Jacob, J. (Joseph), Odink, A., Brun, A.L. (Anne Laure), Macaluso, C. (Claudio), de Lauretis, A., Kokosi, M. (Maria), … Wells, A.U. (Athol U.). (2018). Functional associations of pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis and emphysema with hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Respiratory Medicine, 138, 95–101. doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2018.03.031