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J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(1), 14;

Effects of Corticosteroid Treatment and Antigen Avoidance in a Large Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Cohort: A Single-Centre Cohort Study

Department of Respiratory Diseases, Unit for interstitial lung diseases, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven B-3000, Belgium
Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases, Department of Chronic Diseases, Metabolism & Ageing (CHROMETA), KU Leuven, Leuven B-3000, Belgium
Department of Radiology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven B-3000, Belgium
Department of Pathology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven B-3000, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
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Background: Although the third most frequent interstitial lung disease, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) remains an enigmatic disease without clear diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines. We assessed the effect of the commonly used therapeutic interventions (i.e. exposure avoidance and corticosteroid treatment) in an HP cohort. Methods: We collected clinical data of all HP patients followed at our centre between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2016. HP patients were stratified according to the presence of fibrosis on chest CT. Survival was analysed using the multivariate Cox proportional hazards model. Forced vital capacity (percent predicted, FVC%) and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (percent predicted, DLCO%) evolution were analysed using linear mixed-effect models. Results: Two hundred and two HP patients were identified: 93 non-fibrotic HP (nfHP) and 109 fibrotic HP (fHP), experiencing a monthly FVC% decline before treatment of 0.93% and 0.56%, respectively. While nfHP had an excellent survival, fHP patients experienced a median survival of 9.2 years. Corticosteroid treatment and exposure avoidance did not result in survival differences. Although nfHP patients showed FVC% and DLCO% increase after corticosteroid initiation, no therapeutic effect was seen in fHP patients. FVC% and DLCO% increased in nfHP patients after exposure avoidance, while a positive numerical trend was seen for FVC% after exposure avoidance in fHP patients (p = 0.15). Conclusions: nfHP patients experienced an excellent survival with good therapeutic effect on pulmonary function tests with both corticosteroid initiation as well as antigen avoidance. In contrast, fHP patients experienced a dismal prognosis (median survival of 9.2 years) without any therapeutic effect of corticosteroid treatment. Whether antigen avoidance is useful in fHP patients is still unclear. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypersensitivity pneumonitis; treatment; mixed models hypersensitivity pneumonitis; treatment; mixed models

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De Sadeleer, L.J.; Hermans, F.; De Dycker, E.; Yserbyt, J.; Verschakelen, J.A.; Verbeken, E.K.; Verleden, G.M.; Wuyts, W.A. Effects of Corticosteroid Treatment and Antigen Avoidance in a Large Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Cohort: A Single-Centre Cohort Study. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 14.

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