Background: Idiopathic pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (IPPFE) is heterogeneous, with some patients showing a progressive decline in forced vital capacity (FVC). However, the clinical features of these cases with progressive phenotypes remain unknown.
Methods: This retrospective study included 48 patients diagnosed with IPPFE who underwent longitudinal pulmonary function tests at our institution from 2005 to 2021. The progressive phenotype was defined as a relative decline of ≥10% in %FVC within two years from diagnosis of IPPFE, and its clinical features were evaluated.
Results: Of the 48 patients, 23 (47.9%) were classified as progressive IPPFE. They were significantly older with a higher rate of dyspnea, fine crackles on chest auscultation, lower-lobe usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern on high-resolution computed tomography, and lower %FVC at diagnosis than non-progressive IPPFE. Additionally, progressive IPPFE had a significantly higher rate of long-term oxygen therapy requirement, the incidence of pneumothorax, and weight loss after diagnosis, which showed worse survival than non-progressive IPPFE. The relative decline in %FVC and weight loss showed a significant positive correlation. Multivariate analysis revealed that lower body mass index tended to predict early progression, and the coexistence of lower-lobe UIP pattern was significantly associated with early progression. A decline in %FVC was an independent poor prognostic factor in IPPFE.
Conclusions: With a progressive decline in %FVC, IPPFE often has an advanced stage at diagnosis and lower-lobe UIP pattern and is associated with weight loss and worse survival.
Keywords: Forced vital capacity; Idiopathic pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis; Progressive phenotype; Usual interstitial pneumonia pattern; Weight loss.
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