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Answer to your Health Question

Question (12/25/2012):

Title: Allergic alveolitis versus sarcoidosis.

CT features are suggestive of allergic alveolitis vs sarcoidosis

Sindhu

Answer:

Dear Sindhu,

Thank you very much for your question.

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (Extrinsic allergic alveolitis) is inflammation of the lungs due to breathing in a foreign substance, usually certain types of dust, fungus, or molds.

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease. It starts as tiny, grain-like lumps called granulomas, which most often appear in your lungs or lymph nodes. They can clump together and form larger lumps that attack other organs. Sarcoidosis often affects your skin, eyes or liver.

Natural killer T (NKT) cells, a newly identified subgroup of T cells with immunoregulatory function, may be implicated in the pathogenesis of interstitial lung disease (ILD).

Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a useful diagnostic tool in interstitial lung diseases (ILD).

Staining of glycoproteins by periodic acid Schiff (PAS) reaction may help in discriminating different forms of ILD.

Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells from patients with sarcoidosis (n = 9), and extrinsic allergic alveolitis (EAA) (n = 2) were investigated by Hauber HP and Zabel P. in their 2009 study.

Lymphocytic alveolitis was found in sarcoidosis and extrinsic allergic alveolitis (EAA).

Periodic acid Schiff (PAS) positive cells were significantly decreased in EAA compared to sarcoidosis.

PAS staining of BAL cells may provide additional information in the differential diagnosis of allergic alveolitis and sarcoidosis.


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