Last updated on March 2020

Early Diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis - Use of Biomarkers in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Brief description of study

All incident cases of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in Denmark will be offered inclusion during a 5 year period and followed up for up to 5 years with measurements of blood biomarkers and measurements of disease progression.

Detailed Study Description

Pulmonary fibrosis can be secondary to connective-tissue disease, environmental exposure, or drug toxicity, but it can also appear sporadically without any known cause, i.e. idiopathic interstitial pneumonitis (IIP). Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the commonest IIP and usually follows a rapidly progressive course with a short median survival time.

IPF pathogenesis is believed to be complex, including epithelial injury, resident fibroblast-myofibroblast transformation, recruitment of fibrocytes, macrophage activation, and release of numerous cytokines and chemokines. Several of these processes release potential biomarker proteins into the blood stream or onto the epithelial surface where they can be measured. Biomarkers have mainly two potential roles in IPF. Firstly, a diagnostic biomarker would distinguish IPF from other diseases with similar symptoms, facilitating diagnosis and possibly decreasing the need for risky procedures, such as surgical lung biopsy. Secondly, a prognostic biomarker would distinguish rapid progressors from slow progressors, which is difficult today.

This study will prospectively include all patients at the two centres in Denmark where patients are treated for IPF and has thus a good opportunity to include the majority of incident cases of IPF in Denmark. The blood levels of several promising biomarkers will be measured at baseline and during up to 5 years follow-up. Patients will also be followed up through regular clinical examination and by querying national registries to determine disease progression, mortality, healthcare utilization and selected co-morbidities such as malignancy. The database will be used for determination of risk factors for the outcomes listed above. Sub-group analyses are planned in respect to sex, radiologic imaging at baseline (e.g. honeycombing), smoking status, co-morbidities (both pulmonary disease and extra-pulmonary disease), and disease severity at baseline.

A research biobank with regular blood samples is established from the study population. This biobank, and the database of newly diagnosed IPF patients, will be used for future research in IPF.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02755441

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