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Wood-Pulp Workers' Disease: A Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Caused by Alternaria

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Presented in part at the Fifteenth Aspen Emphysema Conference, June 1972, Aspen, Colo.

Supported in part by grant HL15389 from the National Heart and Lung Institute and grant FR54 from the Clinical Research Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Donald P. Schlueter, M.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, 8700 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, Wis. 53226.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Ann Intern Med. 1972;77(6):907-914. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-77-6-907
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Respiratory disease resulting from prolonged exposure to logs contaminated with Alternaria may be owing to a hypersensitivity reaction. Two patients had heavy and prolonged exposure to this mold during the manufacture of wood pulp. Their exposure led to recurrent episodes of chills, fever, and dyspnea that were followed by irreversible alterations in pulmonary function. Lung biopsy specimens showed changes compatible with a hypersensitivity pneumonitis. An inhalation challenge with an extract of Alternaria reproduced the clinical features of their disease.





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