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RationaleIdiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive fibrotic lung disease with poor prognosis. Identifying patients early may allow intervention which could limit progression. The ‘indeterminate for usual interstitial pneumonia’ (iUIP) CT pattern, defined in the 2018 IPF guidelines, could be a precursor to IPF but there is limited data on how patients with iUIP progress over time.ObjectiveTo evaluate the radiological progression of iUIP and explore factors linked to progression to IPF.MethodsWe performed a retrospective analysis of a lung fibrosis clinic cohort (n=230) seen between 2013 and 2017. Cases with iUIP were identified; first ever CTs for each patient found and categorised as 'non-progressor' or 'progressors' (the latter defined as increase in extent of disease or to 'definite' or 'probable' UIP CT pattern) during their follow-up. Lung function trends, haematological data and patient demographics were examined to explore disease evolution and potential contribution to progression.Results48 cases with iUIP CT pattern were identified. Of these, 32 had follow-up CT scans, of which 23 demonstrated progression. 17 patients in this cohort were diagnosed with IPF over a mean (SD) period of 3.9 (±1.9) years. Monocyte (HR: 23, 95% CI: 1.6 to 340, p=0.03) and neutrophil levels (HR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.3 to 2.3, p<0.001), obtained around the time of initial CT, were associated with progression to IPF using Cox proportional hazard modelling.Conclusion53% of our evaluable patients with iUIP progressed to IPF over a mean of 4 years. Monocyte and neutrophil levels at initial CT were significantly associated with progression in disease. These data provide a single-centre analysis of the evolution of patients with iUIP CT pattern, and first signal for potential factors associated with progression to IPF.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open Respiratory Research



Publication Date





e000899 - e000899