Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2020 05;201(10):1240-1248
Pulmonary and Critical Care Division.
Although relatives of patients with familial pulmonary fibrosis (FPF) are at an increased risk for interstitial lung disease (ILD), the risk among relatives of sporadic idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is not known. To identify the prevalence of interstitial lung abnormalities (ILA) and ILD among relatives of patients with FPF and sporadic IPF. Undiagnosed first-degree relatives of patients with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) consented to participate in a screening study that included the completion of questionnaires, pulmonary function testing, chest computed tomography, a blood sample collection for immunophenotyping, telomere length assessments, and genetic testing. Of the 105 relatives in the study, 33 (31%) had ILA, whereas 72 (69%) were either indeterminate or had no ILA. Of the 33 relatives with ILA, 19 (58%) had further evidence for ILD (defined by the combination of imaging findings and pulmonary function testing decrements). There was no evidence in multivariable analyses that the prevalence of either ILA or ILD differed between the 46 relatives with FPF and the 59 relatives with sporadic IPF. Relatives with decrements in either total lung or diffusion capacity had a greater than 9-fold increase in their odds of having ILA (odds ratio, 9.6; 95% confidence interval, 3.1-29.8; < 0.001). An undiagnosed form of ILD may be present in greater than 1 in 6 older first-degree relatives of patients with PF. First-degree relatives of patients with both familial and sporadic IPF appear to be at similar risk. Our findings suggest that screening for PF in relatives might be warranted.