Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies in North American Patients With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Chest. 2019 Oct;156(4):715-723. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.05.014. Epub 2019 Jun 7.


Background: Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) have been reported to occur in 7% to 10% of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), but their clinical relevance remains unclear. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of ANCAs in a North American population with IPF and evaluate their clinical significance.

Methods: This was a retrospective study of two independent cohorts of patients diagnosed with IPF at the University of California San Francisco (discovery cohort) and the University of Chicago (replication cohort). Myeloperoxidase (MPO) and proteinase 3 (PR3) ANCAs were measured in all patients. Prevalence and associations of ANCAs with clinical characteristics and transplant-free survival were evaluated.

Results: A total of 14 of 353 (4.0%; 95% CI, 2.2-6.5) and 20 of 392 (5.1%; 95% CI, 3.1-7.8) patients with IPF were positive for ANCAs at the time of diagnosis in the discovery and replication cohorts, respectively. Among those positive for MPO antibodies, two of six (33%) in the discovery cohort and three of 12 (25%) in the replication cohort developed vasculitis. None of the patients who were PR3-positive developed vasculitis. Patients who were ANCA-positive were more likely to be women than patients who were ANCA-negative, and were more likely to have some ground-glass opacities on CT scan. In the combined cohort of 745 patients, median transplant-free survival was not significantly different in patients who were ANCA-positive vs ANCA-negative (P = .57).

Conclusions: ANCA positivity is uncommon in North American patients with IPF and not associated with baseline disease severity or transplant-free survival; however, a significant proportion of patients who are MPO-positive with IPF develop clinical vasculitis.

Keywords: antibodies; antineutrophil cytoplasmic; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; interstitial lung disease; interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features; vasculitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / blood*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myeloblastin / blood*
  • Peroxidase / blood*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States
  • Vasculitis / blood
  • Vasculitis / etiology


  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic
  • Peroxidase
  • Myeloblastin