Background: Combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE) is a heterogeneous clinico-radiological syndrome without a consensus definition. There are limited data on the relation between the amount of parenchymal fibrosis and prognosis. In this study, we assessed the prognostic implications of the extent of fibrosis assessed by an automated quantitative computed tomography (CT) technique and the radiological and functional change over time in patients with a broad spectrum of fibrotic interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) encountered in a real-world setting. Methods: We conducted a single-centre, retrospective study of 228 consecutive patients with CPFE, encountered from 2007 to 2015 at Kameda Medical Center, Chiba, Japan. We investigated the prognostic value of automated CT fibrosis quantification and the subsequent course of CPFE. Results: Among 228 patients with CPFE, 89 had fibrosis affecting < 5% of their lungs, 54 had 5 to < 10% fibrosis, and 85 had ≥ 10% fibrosis at the time of diagnosis. Lower volume of fibrosis correlated with lower rates of mortality and acute exacerbation (p < 0.001). In particular, among those with < 5% fibrosis, only 4.5% died and none experienced acute exacerbation during follow-up, whereas 57.6% and 29.4% of those with ≥ 10% fibrosis experienced death and acute exacerbation, respectively. Although, the ≥ 10% fibrosis group had the poorest overall survival as well as the highest incidence of acute exacerbation, the incidence of decline in pulmonary function tests, change per year in total lung volume, and progression of fibrosis on chest CT was highest in the 5 to < 10% fibrosis group. The Cox proportional hazard model for CPFE progression (defined by composite criteria of death, acute exacerbation, and decline in forced vital capacity or diffusing capacity) showed fibrosis proportion was a risk factor independent of age, sex, smoking pack-years, the Charlson Comorbidity Index, lung cancer, connective tissue disease, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Conclusions: Less severe (< 5%) fibrosis at baseline was associated with disease stability and better prognosis compared to more severe fibrosis in CPFE occurring with fibrotic ILDs. Further studies including a validation cohort will be needed. Trial Registration Retrospectively registered.
- Cohort studies
- Pulmonary emphysema
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine