Review: Serum Biomarkers of Lung Fibrosis in Interstitial Pneumonia with Autoimmune Features-What Do We Already Know?

J Clin Med. 2021 Dec 24;11(1):79. doi: 10.3390/jcm11010079.


Interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features (IPAF) belongs to a group of diseases called interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), which are disorders of a varied prognosis and course. Finding sufficiently specific and sensitive biomarkers would enable the progression to be predicted, the natural history to be monitored and patients to be stratified according to their treatment. To assess the significance of pulmonary fibrosis biomarkers studied thus far, we searched the PubMed, Medline and Cochrane Library databases for papers published between January 2015 and June 2021. We focused on circulating biomarkers. A primary review of the databases identified 38 articles of potential interest. Overall, seven articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria. This review aims to assess the diagnostic and prognostic value of molecules such as KL-6, SP-A, SP-D, circulating fibrocytes, CCL2, CXCL13, CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11. All of these biomarkers have previously been studied in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease (CTD-ILD). IPAF is a disorder of a heterogeneous nature. It explains the lack of coherent observations in terms of correlations with functional parameters. There is still no meta-analysis of pulmonary fibrosis biomarkers in IPAF. This is mainly due to the heterogeneity of the methodology and groups analysed in the research. More research in this area is needed.

Keywords: CXCL; IPAF; KL-6; SP-A; SP-D; biomarkers; circulating fibrocytes; interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features; pulmonary fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review