Rheumatoid lung disease: prognostic analysis of 54 biopsy-proven cases

Respir Med. 2012 Aug;106(8):1164-9. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2012.04.004. Epub 2012 May 3.


Objective: To investigate the prognostic significance of histopathological characteristics in patients with biopsy-proven rheumatoid lung disease (RLD).

Materials and methods: Retrospective analysis was conducted on samples from 54 RLD patients who underwent surgical lung biopsies (SLBs) at Hamamatsu University Hospital and affiliated hospitals between 1980 and 2009. The overall survival rate, the spectrum of histopathological diagnosis and their associated prognostic significance were investigated.

Results: The study group consisted of 30 men and 24 women with a median age of 60.3 years. Histopathological analysis revealed the following: usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP), 15 cases; nonspecific interstitial pneumonia/fibrosis, 16 cases; organizing pneumonia, 4 cases; unclassifiable, 2 cases; desquamative interstitial pneumonia, 1 case; and bronchiolar disease, 16 cases. In survival outcome, 10 yr survival rate was 76.6%. Patients with UIP had significantly worse prognosis than those with non-UIP (RLD cases except those with UIP) (p = 0.0452).

Conclusion: RLD includes several histopathological groups. Patients with UIP have worse survival than those with other types of RLD. Histopathological diagnosis may have a major impact on prognostication in patients with RLD.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Biopsy
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods