Aim: Retrospective survey on the epidemiology of interstitial lung diseases in Italy, and how the diagnosis is reached. Methods and patients: A questionnaire has been sent to 34 Centres. Seventeen replies have described 4867 patients, investigated starting from a year ranging from 1978 to 1996. Results: A diagnosis has not been reached in 20% of cases, due to late arrival of the patient (too severe, 299 cases), non-diagnostic biopsy (228), refusal of biopsy (103), reason not described (68). The most used is transbronchial biopsy, but its diagnostic yield is 50% only, with surprising variability in the different Centres (0 to 90%). Videothoracoscopy is active in 8 Centres only. The most frequent diseases are sarcoidosis (2199 cases), idiopathic fibrosis (805) and pneumoconiosis (417). Patients in follow-up are 27.9%. Conclusion: The diagnostic work up has a number of points of concern due to: a) the delay with which many patients are sent to the pneumologist; b) the low diagnostic yield of transbronchial biopsy; c) the possible low interest or experience of a number of pathologists; d) the reluctance, after a negative transbronchial biopsy, to carry out mediastinoscopy when the suspect is sarcoidosis (stage I and II), and VATS when the suspect is idiopathic fibrosis.
|Translated title of the contribution||Epidemiological survey on interstitial lung disease in Italy: Leopard-spot-like data and results|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine