Purpose of review: Recent genetic findings have identified new targets of investigation in the field of pulmonary fibrosis and have the potential to change clinical care.
Recent findings: These findings implicate alterations in host defense, cell-to-cell adhesion, and aging and senescence in the pathophysiology of pulmonary fibrosis. At least one common genetic variant strongly associated with pulmonary fibrosis appears to have prognostic implications for patients.
Summary: The inherited risk for pulmonary fibrosis is substantial, and recent data suggest that genetic risk for familial and sporadic forms of the disease are similar. Further characterizing this genetic risk will influence clinical practice in terms of categorization, diagnosis, and screening of individuals for this disease.