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.

Emphysema, Hypersensitivity pneumonia, Interstitial lung disease, Pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis, Radiology thoracic,
Respiratory Medicine

Jacob, J. (Joseph), Odink, A.E, Brun, A.L. (Anne Laure), Macaluso, C. (Claudio), de Lauretis, S, 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