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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Pulmonary Medicine 1/2019

Antifibrotic treatment response and prognostic predictors in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and exposed to occupational dust

BMC Pulmonary Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2019
Valeria Casillo, Stefania Cerri, Andrea Ciervo, Mariarita Stendardo, Lamberto Manzoli, Maria Elena Flacco, Maurizio Manno, Marialuisa Bocchino, Fabrizio Luppi, Piera Boschetto
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12890-019-0930-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is an aggressive interstitial lung disease with an unpredictable course. Occupational dust exposure may contribute to IPF onset, but its impact on antifibrotic treatment and disease prognosis is still unknown. We evaluated clinical characteristics, respiratory function and prognostic predictors at diagnosis and at 12 month treatment of pirfenidone or nintedanib in IPF patients according to occupational dust exposure.


A total of 115 IPF patients were recruited. At diagnosis, we collected demographic, clinical characteristics, occupational history. Pulmonary function tests were performed and two prognostic indices [Gender, Age, Physiology (GAP) and Composite Physiologic Index (CPI)] calculated, both at diagnosis and after the 12 month treatment. The date of long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) initiation was recorded during the entire follow-up (mean = 37.85, range 12–60 months).


At baseline, patients exposed to occupational dust [≥ 10 years (n = 62)] showed a lower percentage of graduates (19.3% vs 54.7%; p = 0.04) and a higher percentage of asbestos exposure (46.8% vs 18.9%; p 0.002) than patients not exposed [< 10 years (n = 53)]. Both at diagnosis and after 12 months of antifibrotics, no significant differences for respiratory function and prognostic predictors were found. The multivariate analysis confirmed that occupational dust exposure did not affect neither FVC and DLCO after 12 month therapy nor the timing of LTOT initiation.


Occupational dust exposure lasting 10 years or more does not seem to influence the therapeutic effects of antifibrotics and the prognostic predictors in patients with IPF.
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