Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Case report
Feather duvet lung
  1. Patrick Liu-Shiu-Cheong1,
  2. Chris RuiWen Kuo2,
  3. Struan WA Wilkie3 and
  4. Owen Dempsey2
  1. 1 Respiratory Medicine, Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, UK
  2. 2 Respiratory Medicine, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, UK
  3. 3 Radiology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Owen Dempsey; owen.dempsey{at}


A 43-year-old non-smoker was referred with a 3-month history of malaise, fatigue and breathlessness. Blood avian precipitins were strongly positive. Lung function testing confirmed a restrictive pattern with impaired gas transfer. A ‘ground glass’ mosaic pattern was seen on CT imaging, suggestive of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Although he had no pet birds, on closer questioning he had recently acquired a duvet and pillows containing feathers. His symptoms, chest radiograph and lung function tests improved after removal of all feather bedding, and he was also started on oral corticosteroid therapy. Our case reinforces the importance of taking a meticulous exposure history and asking about domestic bedding in patients with unexplained breathlessness. Prompt recognition and cessation of antigen exposure may prevent the development of irreversible lung fibrosis.

  • interstitial lung disease
  • respiratory medicine

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors PLSC, CRWK, SW and OD worked on the text of the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.