Clinical predictors of a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Charlene D. Fell, Fernando J. Martinez, Lyrica X. Liu, Susan Murray, Mei Lan K. Han, Ella A. Kazerooni, Barry H. Gross, Jeffrey Myers, William D. Travis, Thomas V. Colby, Galen B. Toews, Kevin R. Flaherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and other idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) have similar clinical and radiographic features, but their histopathology, response to therapy, and natural history differ. A surgical lung biopsy is often required to distinguish between these entities. Objectives: We sought to determine if clinical variables could predict a histopathologic diagnosis of IPF in patients without honeycomb change on high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT). Methods: Data from 97 patients with biopsy-proven IPF and 38 patients with other IIPs were examined. Logistic regression models were built to identify the clinical variables that predict histopathologic diagnosis of IPF. Measurements and Main Results: Increasing age and average total HRCT interstitial score on HRCT scan of the chest may predict a biopsy confirmation of IPF. Sex, pulmonary function, presence of desaturation, or distance walked during a 6-minute walk test did not help discriminate pulmonary fibrosis from other IIPs. Conclusions: Clinical data may be used to predict a diagnosis of IPF over other IIPs. Validation of these data with a prospective study is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832-837
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2010


  • Computed tomography of the chest
  • Diagnosis
  • Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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