Clinical Impact of Emphysema Evaluated by High-Resolution Computed Tomography on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Diagnosed by Surgical Lung Biopsy

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Background:The prognosis of combined cases of pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema is unresolved partially because radiological differentiation between usual interstitial pneumonia and nonspecific interstitial pneumonia is difficult in coexisting emphysema cases.Objective:The purpose of this study was to clarify the clinical impact of emphysema on the survival of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).Methods:One hundred and seven patients with interstitial lung diseases were diagnosed by surgical lung biopsies between 2006 and 2012, and 47 patients were diagnosed with IPF through multidisciplinary discussion. Emphysema on high-resolution computed tomography scans was evaluated semiquantitatively by visual scoring.Results:Eight out of the 47 IPF patients showed a higher emphysema score (>3) and were diagnosed to have IPF-emphysema. The median survival time of patients with IPF-emphysema (1,734 days) from the initial diagnosis was significantly shorter than that of patients with IPF alone (2,229 days) by Kaplan-Meier analysis (p = 0.007, log-rank test). Univariate Cox proportional hazard regression analyses revealed that a higher total emphysema score (>3.0) was a significantly poor prognostic factor in addition to Krebs von den Lungen-6, surfactant protein-D, arterial oxygen tension, percent forced vital capacity, and percent diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (%DLCO). Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analyses with the stepwise method showed that higher total emphysema score (>3) and %DLCO were significantly poor prognostic factors.Conclusions:The prognosis of IPF-emphysema was significantly worse than that of IPF alone.

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