3 years ago

Clinical implications of ANCA positivity in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients

Guillermo Suarez-Cuartin, Maria Molina-Molina
The diagnostic process of idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) is complex and the underlying mechanisms that participate in these diseases still need to be fully understood. In 2015, the European Respiratory Society/American Thoracic Society Task Force on Undifferentiated Forms of Connective Tissue Disease-Associated Interstitial Lung Disease introduced the term "interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features" (IPAF) to identify subjects with IIP and features suggesting background autoimmunity but not characterisable connective tissue disease (CTD) [1]. The need for a proper clinical, serological and morphological assessment of IIP was highlighted to identify potential subjects with IPAF and CTD-ILD. However, the measurement of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) is not included in the definition of IPAF and ANCA serological testing is only recommended in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) when a clinical suspicion of vasculitis exists [2]. As current research evaluates the prognostic relevance of autoimmune features in IIP, the clinical importance of ANCA positivity still needs to be determined.
Open access
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