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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive, irreversible, and typically fatal lung disease characterised by subpleural fibrosis, subepithelial fibroblast foci, and microscopic honeycombing. Although understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms continues to evolve, evidence indicates that distal airway and alveolar epithelial cells are central drivers of the disease. In this Viewpoint, we review the history of naming and classifications used to define the disease now referred to as IPF, in the context of understanding the clinical presentation, causes, and pathogenesis of the disease. We aim to generate discussion on whether, given the substantial progress made in understanding the clinical, genetic, cellular, and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of IPF, a change of name should be considered. To initiate this discussion, we offer new suggestions to update the name of this disease and new approaches to classify all forms of pulmonary fibrosis.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wnt/β-catenin signaling is necessary for normal lung development, and abnormal Wnt signaling contributes to the pathogenesis of both bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), fibrotic lung diseases that occur during infancy and aging, respectively. Using a library of human normal and diseased human lung samples, we identified a distinct signature of nuclear accumulation of β-catenin phosphorylated at tyrosine 489 and epithelial cell cytosolic localization of β-catenin phosphorylated at tyrosine 654 in early normal lung development and fibrotic lung diseases BPD and IPF. Furthermore, this signature was recapitulated in murine models of BPD and IPF. Image analysis of immunofluorescence colocalization demonstrated a consistent pattern of elevated nuclear phosphorylated β-catenin in the lung epithelium and surrounding mesenchyme in BPD and IPF, closely resembling the pattern observed in 18-week fetal lung. Nuclear β-catenin phosphorylated at tyrosine 489 associated with an increased expression of Wnt target gene AXIN2, suggesting that the observed β-catenin signature is of functional significance during normal development and injury repair. The association of specific modifications of β-catenin during normal lung development and again in response to lung injury supports the widely held concept that repair of lung injury involves the recapitulation of developmental programs. Furthermore, these observations suggest that β-catenin phosphorylation has potential as a therapeutic target for the treatment and prevention of both BPD and IPF.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Seventeen days after double lung transplantation, a 56-year-old patient with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis developed respiratory distress. Imaging revealed bilateral pulmonary infiltrates with pleural effusions and physical examination demonstrated sternal instability. Broad-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal therapy was initiated and bilateral thoracotomy tubes were placed. Both right and left pleural cultures grew a mold subsequently identified as Scopulariopsis brumptii. The patient underwent pleural irrigation and sternal debridement three times but pleural and wound cultures continued to grow S. brumptii. Despite treatment with five antifungal agents, the patient succumbed to his illness 67 days after transplantation. Autopsy confirmed the presence of markedly invasive fungal disease and pleural rind formation. The patient's organ donor had received bilateral thoracostomy tubes during resuscitation in a wilderness location. There were no visible pleural abnormalities at the time of transplantation. However, the patient's clinical course and the location of the infection, in addition to the lack of similar infection in other organ recipients, strongly suggest that Scopulariopsis was introduced into the pleural space during prehospital placement of thoracostomy tubes. This case of lethal infection transmitted through transplantation highlights the unique risk of using organs from donors who are resuscitated in an outdoor location.
© Copyright 2014 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
OBJECTIVE - To assess the frequency and clinical implications of positive autoimmune serologies in patients with biopsy-confirmed idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
PATIENTS AND METHODS - We reviewed the records of patients at our institution with biopsy-confirmed usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) from January 1, 1995, through December 31, 2010, for frequency and distribution of autoimmune serologies. Patients with IPF with and without positive serologies were compared.
RESULTS - Three hundred eighty-nine consecutive patients with biopsy-confirmed IPF underwent serologic testing, with positive serologic test results being found in 112 (29%). Of 2051 individual screening serologic tests performed, results of 163 tests were positive (8%), with antinuclear antibody being the most frequent (47%). There was no difference in age at biopsy (P=.21), gender (P=.21), or presenting radiologic features between those with or without positive serology. More frequent use of immunosuppressive treatment (P=.02) was noted in those with positive serology. No survival difference was observed (log-rank; P=.43). Median follow-up for the whole cohort was 43.5 months.
CONCLUSION - Positive autoimmune serology may occur in as much as one-third of the patients with biopsy-confirmed IPF with no associated clinical implication or survival advantage. Systematic use of autoimmune laboratory panels in patients without clinical features of connective tissue disease should be reconsidered in patients with suspected UIP on chest computed tomography scan or confirmed UIP on biopsy.
Copyright © 2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Although in some cases clinical and radiographic features may be sufficient to establish a diagnosis of diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD), surgical lung biopsy is frequently required. Recently a new technique for bronchoscopic lung biopsy has been developed using flexible cryo-probes. In this study we describe our clinical experience using bronchoscopic cryobiopsy for diagnosis of diffuse lung disease.
METHODS - A retrospective study of subjects who had undergone bronchoscopic cryobiopsy for evaluation of DPLD at an academic tertiary care center from January 1, 2012 through January 15, 2013 was performed. The procedure was performed using a flexible bronchoscope to acquire biopsies of lung parenchyma. H&E stained biopsies were reviewed by an expert lung pathologist.
RESULTS - Twenty-five eligible subjects were identified. With a mean area of 64.2 mm(2), cryobiopsies were larger than that typically encountered with traditional transbronchial forceps biopsy. In 19 of the 25 subjects, a specific diagnosis was obtained. In one additional subject, biopsies demonstrating normal parenchyma were felt sufficient to exclude diffuse lung disease as a cause of dyspnea. The overall diagnostic yield of bronchoscopic cryobiopsy was 80% (20/25). The most frequent diagnosis was usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) (n = 7). Three of the 25 subjects ultimately required surgical lung biopsy. There were no significant complications.
CONCLUSION - In patients with suspected diffuse parenchymal lung disease, bronchoscopic cryobiopsy is a promising and minimally invasive approach to obtain lung tissue with high diagnostic yield.
The median survival of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) continues to be approximately 3 years from the time of diagnosis, underscoring the lack of effective medical therapies for this disease. In the United States alone, approximately 40,000 patients die of this disease annually. In November 2012, the NHLBI held a workshop aimed at coordinating research efforts and accelerating the development of IPF therapies. Basic, translational, and clinical researchers gathered with representatives from the NHLBI, patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review the current state of IPF research and identify priority areas, opportunities for collaborations, and directions for future research. The workshop was organized into groups that were tasked with assessing and making recommendations to promote progress in one of the following six critical areas of research: (1) biology of alveolar epithelial injury and aberrant repair; (2) role of extracellular matrix; (3) preclinical modeling; (4) role of inflammation and immunity; (5) genetic, epigenetic, and environmental determinants; (6) translation of discoveries into diagnostics and therapeutics. The workshop recommendations provide a basis for directing future research and strategic planning by scientific, professional, and patient communities and the NHLBI.
IMPORTANCE - Current prediction models of mortality in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), which are based on clinical and physiological parameters, have modest value in predicting which patients will progress. In addition to the potential for improving prognostic models, identifying genetic and molecular features that are associated with IPF mortality may provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of disease and inform clinical trials.
OBJECTIVE - To determine whether the MUC5B promoter polymorphism (rs35705950), previously reported to be associated with the development of pulmonary fibrosis, is associated with survival in IPF.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - Retrospective study of survival in 2 independent cohorts of patients with IPF: the INSPIRE cohort, consisting of patients enrolled in the interferon-γ1b trial (n = 438; December 15, 2003-May 2, 2009; 81 centers in 7 European countries, the United States, and Canada), and the Chicago cohort, consisting of IPF participants recruited from the Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic at the University of Chicago (n = 148; 2007-2010). The INSPIRE cohort was used to model the association of the MUC5B genotype with survival, accounting for the effect of matrix metalloproteinase 7 (MMP-7) blood concentration and other demographic and clinical covariates. The Chicago cohort was used for replication of findings.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES - The primary end point was all-cause mortality.
RESULTS - The numbers of patients in the GG, GT, and TT genotype groups were 148 (34%), 259 (59%), and 31 (7%), respectively, in the INSPIRE cohort and 41 (28%), 98 (66%), and 9 (6%), respectively, in the Chicago cohort. The median follow-up period was 1.6 years for INSPIRE and 2.1 years for Chicago. During follow-up, there were 73 deaths (36 GG, 35 GT, and 2 TT) among INSPIRE patients and 64 deaths (26 GG, 36 GT, and 2 TT) among Chicago patients. The unadjusted 2-year cumulative incidence of death was lower among patients carrying 1 or more copies of the IPF risk allele (T) in both the INSPIRE cohort (0.25 [95% CI, 0.17-0.32] for GG, 0.17 [95% CI, 0.11-0.23] for GT, and 0.03 [95% CI, 0.00-0.09] for TT) and the Chicago cohort (0.50 [95% CI, 0.31-0.63] for GG, 0.22 [95% CI, 0.13-0.31] for GT, and 0.11 [95% CI, 0.00-0.28] for TT). In the INSPIRE cohort, the TT and GT genotypes (risk for IPF) were associated with improved survival compared with GG (hazard ratios, 0.23 [95% CI, 0.10-0.52] and 0.48 [95% CI, 0.31-0.72], respectively; P < .001). This finding was replicated in the Chicago cohort (hazard ratios, 0.15 [95% CI, 0.05-0.49] and 0.39 [95% CI, 0.21-0.70], respectively; P < .002). The observed association of MUC5B with survival was independent of age, sex, forced vital capacity, diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide, MMP-7, and treatment status. The addition of the MUC5B genotype to the survival models significantly improved the predictive accuracy of the model in both the INSPIRE cohort (C = 0.71 [95% CI, 0.64-0.75] vs C = 0.68 [95% CI, 0.61-0.73]; P < .001) and the Chicago cohort (C = 0.73 [95% CI, 0.62-0.78] vs C = 0.69 [95% CI, 0.59-0.75]; P = .01).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE - Among patients with IPF, a common risk polymorphism in MUC5B was significantly associated with improved survival. Further research is necessary to refine the risk estimates and to determine the clinical implications of these findings.
We performed a genome-wide association study of non-Hispanic, white individuals with fibrotic idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs; n = 1,616) and controls (n = 4,683), with follow-up replication analyses in 876 cases and 1,890 controls. We confirmed association with TERT at 5p15, MUC5B at 11p15 and the 3q26 region near TERC, and we identified seven newly associated loci (Pmeta = 2.4 × 10(-8) to 1.1 × 10(-19)), including FAM13A (4q22), DSP (6p24), OBFC1 (10q24), ATP11A (13q34), DPP9 (19p13) and chromosomal regions 7q22 and 15q14-15. Our results suggest that genes involved in host defense, cell-cell adhesion and DNA repair contribute to risk of fibrotic IIPs.