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January 2018 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes

The January 2018 Arizona Thoracic Society meeting was held on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at the HonorHealth Rehabilitation Hospital beginning at 6:30 PM. This was a dinner meeting with case presentations. There were 11 in attendance representing the pulmonary, critical care, sleep, and radiology communities.

At the beginning of the meeting several issues were discussed:

  1. CME for Arizona Thoracic Society Meetings. Dr. Robbins will be going to Washington and will meet with the ATS concerning obtaining CME for the Arizona Thoracic Society meetings.
  2. Tobacco 21. It was unclear if any action was occurring. Dr. Parides said he would check.
  3. Council of Chapter Representatives (CCR) Meeting and “Hill Day”. Dr. Robbins will be attending the CCR meeting March 21-22 for Dr. Schwartzberg. This includes meeting with the Arizona Congressional representatives. Those that have issues they wish presented to either the ATS leadership or their legislators should contact Dr. Robbins at

There were 4 case presentations:

  1. Dr. Gerry Swartzberg presented a follow-up of a now 74-year-old who was presented in 2014 who was asymptomatic but with a CT scan showing cysts.  No diagnosis was made at that time. She has been followed for the last 3 years. She now has some shortness of breath with exertion. It was discovered that she had cockatiels. A complete “bird” hypersensitivity was recommended but the patient declined because of cost. A repeat CT in late 2017 showed that the cysts had enlarged. A pigeon serum serologic test was positive. Dr. Gotway pointed out that lung cysts can occur with hypersensitivity pneumonitis (1). A biopsy was performed which showed necrotizing granulomas without any organisms. Although she got rid of her cockatiels, further history reveals that the patient still feeds pigeons.  The consensus (although by no means unanimous) was this was likely hypersensitivity pneumonitis with an unusual presentation. It was thought that a trial of steroids might be beneficial.
  2. Dr. Lewis Wesselius presented a 75-year-old woman with a thymic carcinoid tumor diagnosed in 2015. She was treated with resection and radiation therapy. CT scan showed changes consistent with radiation pneumonitis. Bronchoscopy with transbronchial biopsy showed “organizing pneumonitis”. She was treated with corticosteroids for 1 month. CT scan showed some improvement and the steroids were tapered. Her symptoms recurred and she was again started on corticosteroids with improvement but after tapering her steroids, her symptoms again recurred. CT scan showed marked worsening of the lung infiltrates. A bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and transbronchial biopsy was performed. The BAL showed 12% eosinophils and the biopsy was consistent with chronic eosinophilic pneumonia.
  3. Dr. Wesselius also presented a 79-year-old woman who had a right upper lobe resection for non-small cell lung cancer. A follow-up CT scan sometime later showed ground glass opacities (GGOs). A decision was made to follow the GGO’s but a year later CT scan showed worsening of the lesions. Navigational bronchoscopy was nondiagnostic. After a tumor board conference, she received radiation therapy for presumed carcinoma. She was followed but again had increasing shortness of breath. CT scan showed changes consistent with radiation pneumonitis. A long discussion ensued about empiric radiation therapy.
  4. Dr. George Parides presented a woman with a clinical history consistent with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and a CT scan which showed ground glass opacities. Most felt that this was IPF. Pirfenidone was started. A discussion about therapies, including experimental therapies for IPF ensued.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned about 8:30 PM. The next meeting will be in Phoenix on March 28 at 6:30 PM at HonorHealth Rehabilitation Hospital.

Richard A. Robbins MD

Editor, SWJPCC


  1. Franquet T, Hansell DM, Senbanjo T, Remy-Jardin M, Müller NL. Lung cysts in subacute hypersensitivity pneumonitis. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2003 Jul-Aug;27(4):475-8.[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cite as: Robbins RA. January 2018 Arizona thoracic society notes. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2018;16(1):51-2. doi: PDF 

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