Utility of a Molecular Classifier as a Complement to High-Resolution Computed Tomography to Identify Usual Interstitial Pneumonia

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2021 Jan 15;203(2):211-220. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202003-0877OC.


Rationale: Usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) is the defining morphology of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Guidelines for IPF diagnosis conditionally recommend surgical lung biopsy for histopathology diagnosis of UIP when radiology and clinical context are not definitive. A "molecular diagnosis of UIP" in transbronchial lung biopsy, the Envisia Genomic Classifier, accurately predicted histopathologic UIP.Objectives: We evaluated the combined accuracy of the Envisia Genomic Classifier and local radiology in the detection of UIP pattern.Methods: Ninety-six patients who had diagnostic lung pathology as well as a transbronchial lung biopsy for molecular testing with Envisia Genomic Classifier were included in this analysis. The classifier results were scored against reference pathology. UIP identified on high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) as documented by features in local radiologists' reports was compared with histopathology.Measurements and Main Results: In 96 patients, the Envisia Classifier achieved a specificity of 92.1% (confidence interval [CI],78.6-98.3%) and a sensitivity of 60.3% (CI, 46.6-73.0%) for histology-proven UIP pattern. Local radiologists identified UIP in 18 of 53 patients with UIP histopathology, with a sensitivity of 34.0% (CI, 21.5-48.3%) and a specificity of 96.9% (CI, 83.8-100%). In conjunction with HRCT patterns of UIP, the Envisia Classifier results identified 24 additional patients with UIP (sensitivity 79.2%; specificity 90.6%).Conclusions: In 96 patients with suspected interstitial lung disease, the Envisia Genomic Classifier identified UIP regardless of HRCT pattern. These results suggest that recognition of a UIP pattern by the Envisia Genomic Classifier combined with HRCT and clinical factors in a multidisciplinary discussion may assist clinicians in making an interstitial lung disease (especially IPF) diagnosis without the need for a surgical lung biopsy.

Keywords: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; molecular classifier; usual interstitial pneumonia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / classification
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnosis*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed* / methods


  • Genetic Markers