Question addressed by the studyThe prevalence of monogenic disease-causing gene variants in lung-transplant recipients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is not fully known. Their impact on clinical outcomes before and after transplantation requires more evidence.Patients and MethodsWe retrospectively performed sequence analysis of genes associated with pulmonary fibrosis in a cohort of 23 patients with histologically confirmed usual interstitial pneumonia that had previously undergone double lung transplantation. We evaluated the impact of confirmed molecular diagnoses on disease progression, clinical outcomes and incidence of acute rejection or chronic lung allograft dysfunction after transplantation.ResultsFifteen patients out of 23 (65%) had a variant in a gene associated with interstitial lung disease. Eleven patients (48%) received a molecular diagnosis, of which nine involved genes for telomerase function. Five diagnostic variants were found in the gene for Telomerase reverse transcriptase. Two of these variants, p.(Asp684Gly) and p.(Arg774*), seemed to be enriched in Finnish lung-transplant recipients. Disease progression and the incidence of acute rejection and chronic lung allograft dysfunction was similar between patients with telomere-related disease and the rest of the study population. The incidence of renal or bone marrow insufficiency or skin malignancies did not differ between the groups.Answer to the questionGenetic variants are common in lung transplant recipients with pulmonary fibrosis and are most often related to telomerase function. A molecular diagnosis for telomeropathy does not seem to impact disease progression or the risk of complications or allograft dysfunction after transplantation.
Interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features (IPAF) belongs to a group of diseases called interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), which are disorders of a varied prognosis and course. Finding sufficiently specific and sensitive biomarkers would enable the progression to be predicted, the natural history to be monitored and patients to be stratified according to their treatment. To assess the significance of pulmonary fibrosis biomarkers studied thus far, we searched the PubMed, Medline and Cochrane Library databases for papers published between January 2015 and June 2021. We focused on circulating biomarkers. A primary review of the databases identified 38 articles of potential interest. Overall, seven articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria. This review aims to assess the diagnostic and prognostic value of molecules such as KL-6, SP-A, SP-D, circulating fibrocytes, CCL2, CXCL13, CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11. All of these biomarkers have previously been studied in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease (CTD-ILD). IPAF is a disorder of a heterogeneous nature. It explains the lack of coherent observations in terms of correlations with functional parameters. There is still no meta-analysis of pulmonary fibrosis biomarkers in IPAF. This is mainly due to the heterogeneity of the methodology and groups analysed in the research. More research in this area is needed.