16. Immunologic lung disease

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This review summarizes the recent advances regarding pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of immunological diseases of the lung. Rather than attempt a comprehensive analysis, we have focused on selected diseases that are of particular relevance to the practicing physician, and the material has been organized according to the dominant immunologic mechanisms underlying the disease. Because of the redundancy that characterizes the mammalian immune repertoire, this system of classification inevitably produces overlap but facilitates acquisition of what is otherwise a disparate collection of facts. The principal lung immunologic mechanisms are most broadly classified as innate or adaptive immune processes. Innate immunity includes neutrophils and complement that are important in diseases, such as pneumonia and the acute respiratory distress syndrome. Adaptive immunity involves T and B cells capable of recognizing discrete antigens. TH1- and TH2-dependent adaptive immune responses underlie some of the most common and important of lung diseases, including tuberculosis and asthma, respectively. Other important immunopathologic processes include granulomatous inflammation that characterizes sarcoidosis and Churg-Strauss vasculitis, and autoimmunity, which is characteristic of antiglomerular basement membrane disease and others. (J Allergy Clin Immunol 2003;111:S613-23.)

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