HRCT and histopathological evaluation of fibrosis and tissue destruction in IPF associated with pulmonary emphysema

Paola Rogliani, Marco Mura, Paolo Mattia, Amedeo Ferlosio, Gianfranco Farinelli, Salvatore Mariotta, Paolo Graziano, Gabriella Pezzuto, Alberto Ricci, Cesare Saltini, Augusto Orlandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis has been associated with emphysema in cigarette smokers as a new clinical entity: combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE). In order to compare histomorphometrical, roentgenological and immunohistochemical aspects of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) with and without associated pulmonary emphysema, 17 patients with biopsy-proven UIP were evaluated. Morphometrical evaluation of lung parenchyma destruction was used to divide patients in two subgroups: emphysema/UIP (n = 9) and UIP alone (n = 8); four patients with biopsy-proven emphysema without fibrosis were also evaluated. At HRTC scan, emphysematous lesions were prevalent in the upper fields of both emphysema/UIP and emphysema groups and the distribution of fibrotic lesions was similar in emphysema/UIP compared to UIP alone. The semiquantitative histopathological fibrotic score was also similar in emphysema/UIP and UIP alone. In addition, the expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-9, MMP-7 and membrane type 1-metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) by fibroblasts of myofibroblastic foci was similar in emphysema/UIP and UIP alone patients. In contrast, fibroblasts in areas of parenchymal destruction of emphysema/UIP expressed MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-7 and MT1-MMP at variable but significantly higher levels when compared to emphysema subjects, in the presence of similar levels of TIMP-1, TIMP-2 and TNF-α. Fibrotic and emphysematous lesions in emphysema/UIP patients appear to follow the roentgenological and histopathological patterns expected for either UIP or emphysema. Interstitial fibroblast activation is more pronounced in the areas of lung destruction in emphysema/UIP compared to those with emphysema alone, as for exaggerated tissue remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1753-1761
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema
  • Emphysema
  • Matrix metalloproteinase
  • Usual interstitial pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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