Real-Life Diagnostic Performance of the Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Guidelines: A Multicenter Cohort Study

Ophir Freund, Yitzhac Hadad, Tamar Shalmon, Ori Wand, Sonia Schneer, Tal Moshe Perluk, Eyal Kleinhendler, Tzlil Hershko, Boaz Tiran, Galit Aviram, Evgeni Gershman, Yochai Adir, David Shitrit, Amir Bar-Shai, Avraham Unterman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a heterogeneous interstitial lung disease (ILD) that may be difficult to confidently diagnose. Recently, the 2020 ATS/JRS/ALAT HP diagnostic guidelines were published, yet data validating their performance in real-life settings are scarce. We aimed to assess the diagnostic performance of the HP guidelines compared to the gold-standard multidisciplinary discussion (MDD). For this purpose, we included consecutive ILD patients that underwent diagnostic bronchoscopy between 2017 and 2020 in three large medical centers. Four diagnostic factors (antigen exposure history, chest computed tomography pattern, bronchoalveolar lavage lymphocyte count, and histology results) were used to assign guidelines-based HP diagnostic confidence levels for each patient. A sensitivity analysis was performed, with MDD diagnosis as the reference standard. Overall, 213 ILD patients were included, 45 (21%) with an MDD diagnosis of HP. The guidelines’ moderate (≥70%) confidence threshold produced optimal performance with 73% sensitivity for HP, 89% specificity, and a J-index of 0.62. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for a correct guidelines-based diagnosis was 0.86. The guidelines had better performance for non-fibrotic than fibrotic HP (AUC 0.92 vs. 0.82). All diagnostic factors, except bronchoalveolar lavage lymphocyte count, were independent predictors for MDD diagnosis of HP in a multivariate analysis. In conclusion, the HP guidelines exhibited a good diagnostic performance compared to MDD diagnosis in real-life setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2335
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2023


FundersFunder number
Boehringer Ingelheim


    • accuracy
    • bronchoalveolar lavage
    • diagnosis
    • hypersensitivity pneumonitis
    • interstitial lung disease


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