The combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE) was reported first in 1990, but it has been comparatively underestimated until recently. Although the diagnostic findings of both emphysematous and fibrotic regions are detectable by high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) of the chest, the degree of progressive fibrosis, which increases with emphysematous lesions, is difficult to evaluate. In this study, we hypothesized that the biomarkers for pulmonary fibrosis, surfactant protein D (SP-D), and KL-6 would serve as good indicators of fibrotic lesions in CPFE. We recruited 46 patients who had been diagnosed in our hospital with both emphysema and fibrosis by their CT scan image from April 2003 to March 2008. The correlation among their pulmonary function tests, composite physiologic index (CPI), and the serum levels of SP-D and KL-6 was evaluated. We found a correlation between KL-6 and %VC, %TLC, or CPI and between SP-D and %VC or CPI. Interestingly, the combined product of KL-6 and SP-D (KL-6xSP-D) was found to highly correlate with %VC and %TLC or CPI. These results show that both KL-6 and SP-D, and especially the product of SP-D and KL-6, are good indicators of the presence of fibrotic lesions in the lungs of CPFE patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine