Cockatiel-induced Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.

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Diagnosing an environmental or occupationally related pulmonary disorder often involves a process of elimination. Unlike commonly diagnosed conditions in other specialties, a cause-and-effect relationship may be implied, yet other factors such as temporality and biologic plausibility are lacking. Our patient was referred with a suspected work-related pulmonary disorder. For several years, she had suffered with dyspnea on exertion and repeated flulike illnesses. She worked at an automobile repair garage that performed a large number of emission tests, and there was concern that her workplace exposures were the cause of her symptoms. After a careful review of her history, physical examination, and laboratory testing, we came to the conclusion that she had hypersensitivity pneumonitis related to pet cockatiels in her home. Clinical points of emphasis include the importance of a complete environmental history and careful auscultation of the chest when performing the physical examination. In addition, we encountered an interesting physical diagnostic clue, a respiratory sound that assisted with the eventual diagnosis.

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Environmental Health Perspectives, v. 110, issue 7, p. 735-738