Outcome measurement instrument selection for lung physiology in systemic sclerosis associated interstitial lung disease: A systematic review using the OMERACT filter 2.1 process

David Roofeh, Shaney L. Barratt, Athol U. Wells, Leticia Kawano-Dourado, Donald Tashkin, Vibeke Strand, James Seibold, Susanna Proudman, Kevin K. Brown, Paul F. Dellaripa, Tracy Doyle, Thomas Leonard, Eric L. Matteson, Chester V. Oddis, Joshua J. Solomon, Jeffrey A. Sparks, Robert Vassallo, Lara Maxwell, Dorcas Beaton, Robin ChristensenWhitney Townsend, Dinesh Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) is a research organization focused on improving health care outcomes for patients with autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases. The Connective Tissue Disease-Interstitial Lung Disease (CTD-ILD) Working Group on Lung Physiology is a group within OMERACT charged with identifying outcome measures that should be implemented in studies of patients with CTD-ILD. The OMERACT Filter 2.1 is an evidence-based algorithm used to identify outcome measures that are truthful, feasible, and able to discriminate between groups of interest. Our objective was to summate evidence (published literature, key opinion leader input, patient perspectives) that would influence the CTD-ILD Working Group's vote to accept or reject the use of two measures of lung physiology, the forced vital capacity (FVC) and the diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide (DLco) for use in randomized controlled trials (RTCs) and longitudinal observational studies (LOSs) involving patients with systemic sclerosis associated ILD (SSc-ILD). Methods: Patient Research Partners (those afflicted with SSc-ILD) and the CTD-ILD Working Group on Lung Physiology were polled to assess their opinion on the FVC and DLco in terms of feasibility; the CTD-ILD Working Group was also queried on these instruments’ face and content validity. We then conducted a systematic literature review to identify articles in the SSc-ILD population that assessed the following measurement properties of FVC and DLco: (1) construct validity, (2) test-retest reliability, (3) longitudinal construct validity, (4) clinical trial discrimination/sensitivity to detect change in clinical trials, and (5) thresholds of meaning. Results were summarized in a Summary of Measurement Properties (SOMP) table for each instrument. OMERACT CTD-ILD Working Group members discussed and voted on the strength of evidence supporting these two instruments and voted to endorse, provisionally endorse, or not endorse either instrument. Results: Forty Patient Research Partners reported these two measures are feasible (are not an unnecessary burden or represent an infeasible longitudinal assessment of their disease). A majority of the 18 CTD-ILD Working Group members voted that both the FVC and DLco are feasible and have face and content validity. The systematic literature review returned 1,447 non-duplicated articles, of which 177 met eligibility for full text review. Forty-eight studies (13 RCTs, 35 LOSs) were included in the qualitative analysis. The FVC SOMP table revealed high quality, consistent data with evidence of good performance for all five measurement properties, suggesting requisite published evidence to proceed with endorsement. The DLco SOMP table showed a lack of data to support test-retest reliability and inadequate evidence to support clinical trial discrimination. There was unanimous agreement (15 [100%]) among voting CTD-ILD Working Group members to endorse the FVC as an instrument for lung physiology in RCTs and LOSs in SSc-ILD. Based on currently available evidence, DLco did not meet the OMERACT criteria and is not recommended for use in RCTs to represent lung physiology of SSc-ILD. The OMERACT Technical Advisory Group agreed with these decisions. Conclusion: The OMERACT Filter 2.1 was successfully applied to the domain of lung physiology in patients with SSc-ILD. The FVC was endorsed for use in RCTs and LOSs based on the Working Group's vote; DLco was not endorsed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1331-1341
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Core set
  • Diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide
  • Forced vital capacity
  • Outcome measures
  • Systemic sclerosis interstitial lung disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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