Epidemiology of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in flanders: registration by pneumologists in 1992-1994. Working group on ILD, VRGT. Vereniging voor Respiratoire Gezondheidszorg en Tuberculosebestrijding

Acta Clin Belg. 1995;50(5):260-8. doi: 10.1080/17843286.1995.11718459.


Worldwide almost no epidemiologic data are available on the prevalence or incidence of interstitial lung diseases (ILD) in the general population. Therefore, a registration programme of ILD-prevalence was organised by the VRGT (Vereniging voor Respiratoire Gezondheidszorg en Tuberculosebestrijding), among about 100 Flemish pneumologists since 1990. Most categories of the classification by Crystal et al. (1) were included and the diagnostic criteria (histology, laboratory tests, clinic, radiology) were registered. The present paper presents the results of 1992-1994: twenty pneumologists had forwarded the summary files of 237 patients to the central office in 1992 (n = 68), 1993 (n = 90) and 1994 (n = 79). The diagnoses that were most frequently made were: sarcoidosis in 27%, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 20%, hypersensitivity pneumonitis in 14% (of which 68% by birds) and collagen-vascular disease in 10% (of which 54% in rheumatoid arthritis). Less frequent causes were eosinophilic pneumonia (4%), inhalation of inorganic material (4%, anthracosilicosis being excluded), histiocytosis X (3%), drugs (3%), angiitis and granulomatosis (2%), pulmonary hemosiderosis (1%), lymphocytic infiltrative lung disease (1%) and lymphangioleiomyomatosis (1%). The order of relative frequencies of the different categories of diseases was the same in the 3 registration years. In 9% of the patients the diagnosis was confined to "undefined fibrosis". The diagnosis was confirmed by histology in 63% of the cases. The overall male-female ratio was nearly one, with, however, a male preponderance in hypersensitivity pneumonitis (22/12), UIP(8/3) and "undefined fibrosis" (14/7).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / epidemiology
  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Sarcoidosis / epidemiology