Hypersensitivity pneumonitis history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1];Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sargun Singh Walia M.B.B.S.[2]


According to duration of illness, the clinical presentation of Hypersentivity Pneumonitis is categorized as acute, subacute, or chronic.

History and Symptoms

Patients with HP present with positive history based on the acute, subacute, or chronic status:

  • Acute HP[1]
    • Flulike syndrome
    • Significantly exposure leads to development of HP within hours.
    • Symptoms gradually resolve after removal of exposure.
    • Re-exposure leads to recurrence of symptoms.
  • Subacute hypersensitivity pneumonitis[2]
    • Insidious in onset.
    • Symptoms present over weeks to months.
    • Symptoms include dyspnea, cough, and fatigue.
    • Patients may present with anorexia and weight loss.
  • Chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis
    • Insidious in onset.
    • Patients may be undiagnosed with untreated subacute disease.
    • Patients may present with cough, malaise, dyspnea, and weight loss.
    • Removing exposure results in only partial improvement.[3]


  1. Agostini C, Trentin L, Facco M, Semenzato G (September 2004). "New aspects of hypersensitivity pneumonitis". Curr Opin Pulm Med. 10 (5): 378–82. PMID 15316436.
  2. Schlueter DP (September 1974). "Response of the lung to inhaled antigens". Am. J. Med. 57 (3): 476–92. PMID 4607028.
  3. Tsutsui T, Miyazaki Y, Okamoto T, Tateishi T, Furusawa H, Tsuchiya K, Fujie T, Tamaoka M, Sakashita H, Sumi Y, Inase N (September 2015). "Antigen avoidance tests for diagnosis of chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis". Respir Investig. 53 (5): 217–24. doi:10.1016/j.resinv.2015.04.003. PMID 26344611.

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