Profusion of fibroblast foci in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis does not predict outcome

Viktor Hanak, Jay H Ryu, Erika de Carvalho, Andrew Harold Limper, Thomas E. Hartman, Paul A. Decker, Jeffrey L. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Rationale: The prognostic significance of fibroblast foci in surgical lung biopsies from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is unclear. Objectives: We assessed the relationship between profusion of fibroblast foci and survival in 43 patients with IPF seen at a tertiary referral medical center from 1996 to 2002. Methods: Fibroblast foci in surgical lung biopsies were counted using a systematic morphometric point-counting technique. Patients with either clinical or pathologic evidence of accelerated disease were excluded from analysis. The association of fibroblast counts with survival was assessed using proportional hazards regression. Results: The mean age (±SD) of the study population was 64±9 years; 26 (60%) patients were male. The mean (%±SD) profusion of fibroblastic foci was 0.6±0.7, expressed as a percentage of total points counted. Fibroblast foci counts did not differ markedly between upper, middle, and lower lobes. Median survival from the time of biopsy was 2.4 years; there were 25 (58%) deaths in the follow up period. There was no significant relationship between profusion of fibroblast foci and survival in the overall group (p=0.250). Conclusions: Higher prevalence of fibroblast foci assessed using a simple point-counting technique applied to surgical lung biopsies is not associated with survival in patients with clinically stable IPF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-856
Number of pages5
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008



  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Usual interstitial pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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