Introduction: RIPID (Italian register for diffuse infiltrative lung disorders) is a register aimed to create a national database of diffuse infiltrative lung disorders, also known as interstitial lung diseases.
Material and methods: The RIPID register collected prevalent data on patients affected by infiltrative diffuse lung disorders. The data form contains socio-demographic information (sex, age, years of education), existence in life, smoking habits, clinical data, diagnostic procedures (chest high resolution computed tomography (HRCT), bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), transbronchial biopsies (TBB), surgical biopsies) and respiratory function tests at the time of diagnosis.
Results: Up to 18/01/2005 a total of 3152 patients had been included in the register. Seventy-nine centers and 138 physicians in all 20 regions of Italy contributed to patient enrolment. The vast majority of cases were from Northern Italy (2343 cases, 75%). The most frequently reported diagnoses were Sarcoidosis (1063 patients) and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF, 864 patients).
Discussion: The data in the RIPID confirm that epidemiological registries can be useful tools to investigate rare or relatively rare disorders (e.g. Sarcoidosis and IPF), in order to design multicentric clinical studies of adequate sample size, aimed at providing standardized diagnostic, management and follow up criteria with a particular regard to outcome.