Diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease

Mayuko Watase, Takao Mochimaru, Honomi Kawase, Hiroyuki Shinohara, Shinobu Sagawa, Toshiki Ikeda, Shota Yagi, Hiroyuki Yamamura, Emiko Matsuyama, Masanori Kaji, Momoko Kurihara, Midori Sato, Kohei Horiuchi, Risa Watanabe, Shigenari Nukaga, Kaoru Irisa, Ryosuke Satomi, Yoshitaka Oyamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


No biomarkers have been identified in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) for predicting fibrosis progression or prognosis in progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease (PF-ILD). We investigated BALF biomarkers for PF-ILD diagnosis and prognosis assessment. Overall, 120 patients with interstitial pneumonia who could be diagnosed with PF-ILD or non PF-ILD were enrolled in this retrospective study. PF-ILD was diagnosed according to Cottin's definition. All patients underwent bronchoscopy and BALF collection. We evaluated blood and BALF parameters, high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) patterns, and spirometry data to identify factors influencing PF-ILD diagnosis and prognosis. On univariate logistic analysis, age, sex, the BALF white blood cell fraction (neutrophil, lymphocyte, eosinophil, and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio), BALF flow cytometric analysis (CD8), and an idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis/usual interstitial pneumonia pattern on HRCT were correlated with PF-ILD diagnosis. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that sex (male), age (cut-off 62 years, area under the curve [AUC] 0.67; sensitivity 0.80; specificity 0.47), white blood cell fraction in BALF (NLR, neutrophil, and lymphocyte), and CD8 in BALF (cut-off 34.2; AUC 0.66; sensitivity, 0.74; specificity, 0.62) were independent diagnostic predictors for PF-ILD. In BALF, the NLR (cut-off 8.70, AUC 0.62; sensitivity 0.62; specificity 0.70), neutrophil count (cut-off 3.0, AUC 0.59; sensitivity 0.57; specificity 0.63), and lymphocyte count (cut-off 42.0, AUC 0.63; sensitivity 0.77; specificity 0.53) were independent diagnostic predictors. In PF-ILD patients (n = 77), lactate dehydrogenase (cut-off 275, AUC 0.69; sensitivity 0.57; specificity 0.78), Krebs von den Lungen-6 (cut-off 1,140, AUC 0.74; sensitivity 0.71; specificity 0.76), baseline forced vital capacity (FVC) (cut-off 1.75 L, AUC 0.71; sensitivity, 0.93; specificity, 0.46), and BALF neutrophil ratio (cut-off 6.0, AUC 0.72; sensitivity 0.79; specificity 0.80) correlated with death within 3 years. The BALF cellular ratio, particularly the neutrophil ratio, correlated with the diagnosis and prognosis of PF-ILD. These findings may be useful in the management of patients with interstitial pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0283288
JournalPloS one
Issue number3 March
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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