Context. - Accurate diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) requires multidisciplinary diagnosis that includes clinical, radiologic, and often pathologic assessment. In 2018, the American Thoracic Society, European Respiratory Society, Japanese Respiratory Society, and the Latin American Thoracic Society (ATS/ERS/JRS/ALAT) and the Fleischner Society each published guidelines for the diagnosis of IPF, which include criteria for 4 categories of confidence of a histologic usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern. Objective. - To (1) identify the role of the guidelines in pathologic assessment of UIP; (2) analyze the 4 guideline categories, including potential areas of difficulty; and (3) determine steps the Pulmonary Pathology Society and the greater pulmonary pathology community can take to improve current guideline criteria and histopathologic diagnosis of interstitial lung disease. Data Sources. - Data were derived from the guidelines, published literature, and clinical experience. Conclusions. - Both guidelines provide pathologists with a tool to relay to the clinician the likelihood that a biopsy represents UIP, and serve as an adjunct, not a replacement, for traditional histologic diagnosis. There are multiple challenges with implementing the guidelines, including (1) lack of clarity on the quantity and quality of histologic findings required, (2) lack of recognition that histologic features cannot be assessed independently, and (3) lack of guidance on how pathologists should incorporate clinical and radiographic information. Current criteria for ''probable UIP'' and ''indeterminate for UIP'' hinder accurate reflection of the likelihood of IPF. These challenges highlight the need for further morphologic-based investigations in the field of pulmonary pathology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Medical Laboratory Technology