Background: Nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) has recently been described as a distinct clinicopathological entity among idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIP), having more favorable prognosis than usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). Although NSIP was initially reported to also occur in patients with interstitial pneumonia associated with collagen vascular diseases (IP-CVD), the prevalence of NSIP and its prognostic significance in IP-CVD remains to be determined. Thus, we attempted to clarify clinical characteristics and prognostic significance of NSIP in IP-CVD.
Methods: We histologically examined surgical lung biopsies from 43 patients with IP-CVD based on a current classification of interstitial pneumonias, and compared the clinical characteristics and prognostic significance of NSIP with UIP in IP-CVD. We also studied 98 patients with biopsy-proven NSIP and UIP in IIP, and compared the prognostic significance of histopathologic subclassification in IIP with that in IP-CVD.
Results: In IP-CVD, twenty-six patients (60%) were classified as NSIP, 17 (40%) as UIP. In contrast, 76 (77%) were categorized into UIP and 22 (23%) into NSIP of the patients with IIP. No significant difference in survival rates was observed between UIP and NSIP in IP-CVD (p = 0.3863), while, in IIP, NSIP has a significant better survival than UIP (p = 0.022).
Conclusions: These results suggest that NSIP is more common histologic pattern than UIP in IP-CVD and, unlike in IIP, the prognosis of NSIP patients may not be different from that of UIP patients in IP-CVD.