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Editorials |

What Exactly Is Flock Worker’s Lung?

Ware G. Kuschner, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Palo Alto, CA 
 ,  Dr. Kuschner is from the Medical Service, Pulmonary Section, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System; and Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA.

Correspondence to: Ware G. Kuschner, MD, 3801 Miranda Ave, Mail Stop 111P, Palo Alto, CA 94304; e-mail: kuschner@stanford.edu



Chest. 2000;117(1):10-13. doi:10.1378/chest.117.1.10
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Kern and colleagues in this issue of CHEST (see page 251) report five new cases of interstitial lung disease among persons with histories of occupational exposure to rotary-cut nylon flock. In this case series, they report a spectrum of histopathology not principally associated with flock worker’s lung, including desquamative interstitial pneumonia (DIP). Only one of the five case patients demonstrated histopathology that is viewed as stereotypical for flock worker’s lung: lymphocytic bronchiolitis and peribronchiolitis with lymphoid nodules.12 The authors now argue that a broader spectrum of histopathologic changes can result from flock inhalation than hitherto believed. This conclusion is in contrast with the more uniform pathologic picture that was presented in the seminal report on flock worker’s lung that was published by these researchers in 1998.1


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