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Concept: Interstitial lung disease


Autoantibodies against several aminoacyl-transfer-RNA synthetases have been described in patients with myositis; anti-threonyl-tRNA synthetase (anti-PL-7) is one of the rarest. We describe the clinical and laboratory characteristics of a cohort of European anti-PL-7 patients, and compare them with previously reported cases. This multicenter study of patients positive for anti-PL-7, identified between 1984 and 2011, derives from the EUMYONET cohort. Clinical and serologic data were obtained by retrospective laboratory and medical record review, and statistical analyses were performed with chi-squared and Fisher exact tests. Eighteen patients, 15 women, were anti-PL-7 antibody positive. Median follow-up was 5.25 years (interquartile range, 2.8-10.7 yr), and 4 patients died. All patients had myositis (12 polymyositis, 5 dermatomyositis, and 1 amyopathic dermatomyositis), 10 (55.6%) had interstitial lung disease, and 9 (50%) had pericardial effusion. Occupational exposure to organic/inorganic particles was more frequent in patients with interstitial lung disease than in the remaining patients (5 of 10 vs. 1 of 7; p = 0.152), although the difference was not significant. Concurrent autoantibodies against Ro60 and Ro52 were seen in 8 of 14 (57%) patients studied. In the literature review the most common manifestations of anti-PL-7 antisynthetase syndrome were interstitial lung disease (77%), myositis (75%), and arthritis (56%). As in other subsets of the antisynthetase syndrome, myositis and interstitial lung disease are common features of the anti-PL-7 antisynthetase syndrome. In addition, we can add pericarditis as a possible manifestation related to anti-PL-7 antibodies.

Concepts: Antibody, Epidemiology, Death, Pulmonology, Pericardial effusion, Interstitial lung disease, Dermatomyositis, Polymyositis


Some of the most pressing challenges associated with interstitial lung disease (ILD) are how best to define, diagnose, and treat connective tissue disease-associated ILD (CTD-ILD)–disorders with potentially substantial morbidity and mortality. In this focused review, we address aspects of prognosis for CTD-ILD and what indices might predict outcome, together with lessons that can be learnt from clinical trials of systemic sclerosis-associated ILD and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and how these lessons might be applied to future studies of CTD-ILD.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Pulmonology, Medical terms, Fibrosis, Epithelium, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Pulmonary fibrosis, Interstitial lung disease


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an incurable interstitial lung disease occurring mainly in West Highland White Terriers (WHWTs). The effects of IPF on survival and on exercise tolerance in WHWTs are unknown.

Concepts: Diseases and disorders, Pulmonology, Lung, Fibrosis, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Pulmonary fibrosis, Interstitial lung disease, West Highland White Terrier


ABSTRACT Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating disease of unknown etiology, for which there is no curative pharmacological therapy. Bleomycin, an anti-neoplastic agent that causes lung fibrosis in human patients has been used extensively in rodent models to mimic IPF. In this review, we compare the pathogenesis and histological features of human IPF and bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis (BPF) induced in rodents by intratracheal delivery. We discuss the current understanding of IPF and BPF disease development, from the contribution of alveolar epithelial cells and inflammation to the role of fibroblasts and cytokines, and draw conclusions about what we have learned from the intratracheal bleomycin model of lung fibrosis.

Concepts: Medicine, Lung, Fibrosis, Epithelium, Mammal, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Pulmonary fibrosis, Interstitial lung disease


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fibrosing interstitial lung disease associated with debilitating symptoms of dyspnoea and cough, resulting in respiratory failure, impaired quality of life and ultimately death. Diagnosing IPF can be challenging, as it often shares many features with other interstitial lung diseases. In this article, we summarise recent joint position statements on the diagnosis and management of IPF from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and Lung Foundation Australia, specifically tailored for physicians across Australia and New Zealand. Main suggestions: A comprehensive multidisciplinary team meeting is suggested to establish a prompt and precise IPF diagnosis. Antifibrotic therapies should be considered to slow disease progression. However, enthusiasm should be tempered by the lack of evidence in many IPF subgroups, particularly the broader disease severity spectrum. Non-pharmacological interventions including pulmonary rehabilitation, supplemental oxygen, appropriate treatment of comorbidities and disease-related symptoms remain crucial to optimal management. Despite recent advances, IPF remains a fatal disease and suitable patients should be referred for lung transplantation assessment.

Concepts: Diseases and disorders, Pulmonology, Pneumonia, Fibrosis, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Pulmonary fibrosis, Interstitial lung disease


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive and fatal parenchymal lung disease with limited therapeutic options, with fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transdifferentiation and hyperproliferation playing a major role. Investigating ex vivo-cultured (myo)fibroblasts from human IPF lungs as well as fibroblasts isolated from bleomycin-challenged mice, Forkhead box O3 (FoxO3) transcription factor was found to be less expressed, hyperphosphorylated, and nuclear-excluded relative to non-diseased controls. Downregulation and/or hyperphosphorylation of FoxO3 was reproduced by exposure of normal human lung fibroblasts to various pro-fibrotic growth factors and cytokines (FCS, PDGF, IGF1, TGF-β1). Moreover, selective knockdown of FoxO3 in the normal human lung fibroblasts reproduced the transdifferentiation and hyperproliferation phenotype. Importantly, mice with global- (Foxo3-/-) or fibroblast-specific (Foxo3f.b-/-) FoxO3 knockout displayed enhanced susceptibility to bleomycin challenge, with augmented fibrosis, loss of lung function, and increased mortality. Activation of FoxO3 with UCN-01, a staurosporine derivative currently investigated in clinical cancer trials, reverted the IPF myofibroblast phenotype in vitro and blocked the bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in vivo These studies implicate FoxO3 as a critical integrator of pro-fibrotic signaling in lung fibrosis and pharmacological reconstitution of FoxO3 as a novel treatment strategy.

Concepts: Signal transduction, Pulmonology, Lung, Fibrosis, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Pulmonary fibrosis, Interstitial lung disease, Human lung


Clinical guidelines specify that diagnosis of interstitial pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) requires identification of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern. While UIP can be identified by high resolution CT of the chest, the results are often inconclusive, making surgical lung biopsy necessary to reach a definitive diagnosis (Raghu et al., Am J Respir Crit Care Med 183(6):788-824, 2011). The Envisia genomic classifier differentiates UIP from non-UIP pathology in transbronchial biopsies (TBB), potentially allowing patients to avoid an invasive procedure (Brown et al., Am J Respir Crit Care Med 195:A6792, 2017). To ensure patient safety and efficacy, a laboratory developed test (LDT) must meet strict regulatory requirements for accuracy, reproducibility and robustness. The analytical characteristics of the Envisia test are assessed and reported here.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Lung, Pneumonia, Pathology, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Pulmonary fibrosis, Interstitial lung disease, Usual interstitial pneumonia


The diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and other interstitial lung diseases (ILD) presents significant clinical challenges. To gain insights regarding the diagnostic experience of patients with ILD and to identify potential barriers to a timely and accurate diagnosis, we developed an online questionnaire and conducted a national survey of adults with a self-reported diagnosis of ILD.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Diseases and disorders, Pulmonology, Medical terms, Fibrosis, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Pulmonary fibrosis, Interstitial lung disease


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the severest form of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, with a median survival time estimated at 2-5 years from the time of diagnosis. It occurs mainly in elderly adults, suggesting a strong link between the fibrosis process and aging. Although chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) is currently the method of choice in IPF assessment, diagnostic imaging with typical usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) provides definitive results in only 55%, requiring an invasive surgical procedure such as lung biopsy or cryobiopsy for the final diagnostic analysis. Lung ultrasound (LUS) as a noninvasive, non-radiating examination is very sensitive to detect subtle changes in the subpleural space. The evidence of diffuse, multiple B-lines defined as vertical, hyperechoic artifacts is the hallmark of interstitial syndrome. A thick, irregular, fragmented pleura line is associated with subpleural fibrotic scars. The total numbers of B-lines are correlated with the extension of pulmonary fibrosis on HRCT, being an LUS marker of severity. The average distance between two adjacent B-lines is an indicator of a particular pattern on HRCT. It is used to appreciate a pure reticular fibrotic pattern as in IPF compared with a predominant ground glass pattern seen in fibrotic nonspecific interstitial pattern. The distribution of the LUS artifacts has a diagnostic value. An upper predominance of multiple B-lines associated with the thickening of pleura line is an LUS feature of an inconsistent UIP pattern, excluding the IPF diagnosis. LUS is a repeatable, totally radiation-free procedure, well tolerated by patients, very sensitive in detecting early changes of fibrotic lung, and therefore a useful imaging technique in monitoring disease progression in the natural course or after initiation of treatment.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Pneumonia, Fibrosis, Medical imaging, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Pulmonary fibrosis, Interstitial lung disease, Usual interstitial pneumonia


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is increasingly diagnosed by clinical and computed tomography (CT) criteria; however, surgical lung biopsy (SLB) may still be required in patients who lack definite CT features of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). We reviewed a cohort of elderly patients who underwent SLB, to evaluate the benefit of SLB in diagnosing idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (IIP).

Concepts: Cancer, Pulmonology, Medical terms, Diagnosis, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Pulmonary fibrosis, Interstitial lung disease, Usual interstitial pneumonia