Prognostic factors for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: clinical, physiologic, pathologic, and molecular aspects

Sarcoidosis Vasc Diffuse Lung Dis. 2011 Oct;28(2):102-12.


Background: Previous studies identified clinical and physiologic factors of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) that are related to an increased risk of mortality. But there are few studies about histologic and molecular approach.

Objective: We investigated whether the C-reactive protein (CRP), fibroblastic foci, phosphorylated Smad2/3 (p-Smad2/3), tumor growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), TGF-beta receptor II (TbetaRII), and the polymorphism of the TGF-beta1 codon 10 are associated with the progression of IPF patients.

Design: Eighty-six IPF patients who underwent surgical lung biopsies were examined. For each patient, clinical and physiologic parameters were investigated, and we performed immunohistochemical staining for p-Smad2/3 and TbetaRII, and genotyping of the TGF-beta1 codon 10 polymorphism.

Results: Age at diagnosis, gender, symptom duration, and smoking status did not show a significant association. However, the amount of smoking (p = 0.002), severe reduction in the percentages of predicted forced vital capacity (p = 0.013) and diffusion lung capacity of carbon monoxide (p = 0.023), CRP (p = 0.009) at diagnosis, and fibroblastic foci (p = 0.026) were associated with a poor prognosis. Cellularity, fibrosis, expression level of p-Smad2/3 and TbetaRII, and genotype of the TGF-beta1 codon 10 polymorphism did not have a statistically significant association with the prognosis.

Conclusion: This study confirmed the amount of smoking, abrupt decrease in follow-up pulmonary function parameters, fibroblastic foci, and increased levels of CRP concentration at diagnosis were significantly associated with poor survival. Larger studies are required to confirm all prognostic factors including CRP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Codon
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnosis*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / genetics
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / mortality
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lung* / chemistry
  • Lung* / pathology
  • Lung* / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphorylation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / analysis
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type II
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / analysis
  • Republic of Korea
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Smad2 Protein / analysis
  • Smad3 Protein / analysis
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / analysis
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / genetics
  • Vital Capacity


  • Biomarkers
  • Codon
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • SMAD2 protein, human
  • SMAD3 protein, human
  • Smad2 Protein
  • Smad3 Protein
  • TGFB1 protein, human
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type II