Design and rationale of a randomised, double-blind trial of the efficacy and safety of pirfenidone in patients with fibrotic hypersensitivity pneumonitis

ERJ Open Res. 2021 Jun 7;7(2):00054-2021. doi: 10.1183/23120541.00054-2021. eCollection 2021 Apr.


Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is an immunologically mediated form of lung disease resulting from inhalational exposure to any of a large variety of antigens. A subgroup of patients with HP develops pulmonary fibrosis (fibrotic HP; FHP), a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. This study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the antifibrotic pirfenidone in treating FHP. This single-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is enrolling adults with FHP ( NCT02958917). Study participants must have fibrotic abnormalities involving ≥5% of the lung parenchyma on high-resolution computed tomography scan, forced vital capacity (FVC) ≥40% and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide ≥30% of predicted values. Study participants will be randomised in a 2:1 ratio to receive pirfenidone 2403 mg·day-1 or placebo. The primary efficacy end-point is the mean change in FVC % predicted from baseline to week 52. A number of secondary end-points have been chosen to evaluate the safety and efficacy in different domains.

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