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Interstitial lung abnormalities–current knowledge and future directions

Interstitial lung abnormalities–current knowledge and future directions

Title: Interstitial lung abnormalities–current knowledge and future directions
Author: Axelsson, Gísli Þór
Guðmundsson, Gunnar
Date: 2021
Language: English
Scope: 1994178
University/Institute: Landspitali - The National University Hospital of Iceland
Department: Faculty of Medicine
Internal Medicine and Emergency Services
Series: European Clinical Respiratory Journal; 8(1)
ISSN: 2001-8525
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/20018525.2021.1994178
Subject: Lungnatrefnun; Dánartíðni; Lungnasjúkdómar; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; Interstitial fibrosis; interstitial lung abnormalities; mortality; progression; Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2832

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Axelsson , G Þ & Guðmundsson , G 2021 , ' Interstitial lung abnormalities–current knowledge and future directions ' , European Clinical Respiratory Journal , vol. 8 , no. 1 , 1994178 , pp. 1994178 . https://doi.org/10.1080/20018525.2021.1994178


Efforts to grasp the significance of radiologic changes similar to interstitial lung disease (ILD) in undiagnosed individuals have intensified in the recent decade. The term interstitial lung abnormalities (ILA) is an emerging definition of such changes, defined by visual examination of computed tomography scans. Substantial insights have been made in the origins and clinical consequences of these changes, as well as automated measures of early lung fibrosis, which will likely lead to increased recognition of early fibrotic lung changes among clinicians and researchers alike. Interstitial lung abnormalities have an estimated prevalence of 7–10% in elderly populations. They correlate with many ILD risk factors, both epidemiologic and genetic. Additionally, histopathological similarities with IPF exist in those with ILA. While no established blood biomarker of ILA exists, several have been suggested. Distinct imaging patterns indicating advanced fibrosis correlate with worse clinical outcomes. ILA are also linked with adverse clinical outcomes such as increased mortality and risk of lung cancer. Progression of ILA has been noted in a significant portion of those with ILA and is associated with many of the same features as ILD, including advanced fibrosis. Those with ILA progression are at risk of accelerated FVC decline and increased mortality. Radiologic changes resembling ILD have also been attained by automated measures. Such measures associate with some, but not all the same factors as ILA. ILA and similar radiologic changes are in many ways analogous to ILD and likely represent a precursor of ILD in some cases. While warranting an evaluation for ILD, they are associated with poor clinical outcomes beyond possible ILD development and thus are by themselves a significant finding. Among the present objectives of this field are the stratification of patients with regards to progression and the discovery of biomarkers with predictive value for clinical outcomes.


Supported by Landspitali Scientific Fund A–2019–029, A–2019–030, A–2020–018, A–2020–017 , and A–2021–018 and the University of Iceland Research Fund 2021 (GG). Supported by the Eimskip University Fund (GTA). Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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