Can we still miss tetrachloroethylene-induced lung disease? The emperor returns in new clothes

Maged A. Tanios, Hesham El Gamal, Beth J. Rosenberg, Paul M. Hassoun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a complex syndrome of varying intensity and clinical presentation, and has been described in association with numerous exposures. Early diagnosis is essential to limit irreversible lung damage. We describe a case of HP in a 42-year-old dry cleaner following occupational exposure to tetrachloroethylene (TCE). The diagnosis was suspected based on clinical presentation and radiographic studies, and confirmed by lung biopsy. A review of the literature reveals that HP has not been reported previously as an occupational lung disease in dry cleaners. We conclude that HP should be suspected in dry cleaners presenting with pulmonary complaints, and TCE should be considered as a potential trigger of disease. The spectrum of TCE-related occupational diseases and the diagnosis of HP are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-645
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004



  • Dry cleaners
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Occupational lung disease
  • Perchloroethylene
  • Tetrachloroethylene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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