Improving Survival in Lymphangioleio-myomatosis: A 16-Year Observational Study in a Large Cohort of Patients

Sergio Harari, Olga Torre, Davide Elia, Antonella Caminati, Giuseppe Pelosi, Claudia Specchia, Maurizio Zompatori, Roberto Cassandro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Over the last 2 decades, great progress has been made in the understanding of the clinical aspects and pathogenesis of lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), leading to publication of guidelines and approval of an effective therapy. Objectives: Aim of our study was to describe how the management and the natural history of this rare disease have changed after the publication of the ERS and American Thoracic Society/Japanese Respiratory Society guidelines and the introduction of sirolimus. Methods: We examined 162 LAM patients followed at our center between 2001 and 2017, reporting clinical characteristics and diagnostic approach. Response to sirolimus in patients undergoing long-term treatment and mortality risk, estimated in terms of cumulative incidence taking into account organ transplantation as a competing cause of the event, were evaluated. The difference in the cumulative incidence between the patients admitted to the observation before 2011 and after 2011, year of the publication of the MILES trial for the efficacy of sirolimus, has also been estimated. Results: Sixty-one patients had a histological diagnosis (22 from 2010 onward). 101 patients received a radiological diagnosis according to the guidelines criteria. Pulmonary function tests remained stable over a 3-year treatment period in patients who received sirolimus for over 12 months. The cumulative incidence of mortality after 10 years in the whole population was 25.5%. The cumulative incidence of mortality after 5 years was significantly lower in patients who entered the study since 2011 (after publication of the MILES trial) than in patients who entered the study before. Conclusions: We provide the data supporting the long-term efficacy of sirolimus therapy in a large cohort of patients with functional impairment and other manifestations of the disease. Our results also suggest that the advent of sirolimus and the publication of international guidelines changed the natural history of the disease lowering the mortality and reducing the need of invasive diagnostic techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-999
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Cystic lung diseases
  • Lymphangioleiomomatosis
  • mTOR inhibitors
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Sirolimus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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