University of Oulu

Salonen, J., Jansa, S., Vähänikkilä, H. et al. Re-hospitalisation predicts poor prognosis after acute exacerbation of interstitial lung disease. BMC Pulm Med 23, 236 (2023).

Re-hospitalisation predicts poor prognosis after acute exacerbation of interstitial lung disease

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Author: Salonen, Johanna1,2; Jansa, Sanna1; Vähänikkilä, Hannu3;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Biomedicine and Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulun Yliopisto, P.O. Box 8000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Center of Internal and Respiratory Medicine and Medical Research Center (MRC) Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
3Northern Finland Birth Cohorts, Arctic Biobank, Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-18


Background: Several markers have been identified to increase the risk for acute exacerbation of interstitial lung disease (AE-ILD) or mortality related to AE-ILD. However, less is known about the risk predictors of ILD patients who have survived AE. The aim of the study was to characterise AE-ILD survivors and investigate prognostic factors in this subpopulation.

Methods: All AE-ILD patients (n = 95) who had been discharged alive from two hospitals located in Northern Finland were selected from a population of 128 AE-ILD patients. Clinical data related to the hospital treatment and six-month follow-up visit were collected retrospectively from medical records.

Results: Fifty-three patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and 42 patients with other ILD were identified. Two thirds of the patients had been treated without invasive or non-invasive ventilation support. The clinical features of six-month survivors (n = 65) and non-survivors (n = 30) did not differ in terms of medical treatment or oxygen requirements. Of the patients, 82.5% used corticosteroids at the six-month follow-up visit. Fifty-two patients experienced at least one non-elective respiratory re-hospitalisation before the six-month follow-up visit. In a univariate model, IPF diagnosis, high age and a non-elective respiratory re-hospitalisation increased the risk of death, although re-hospitalisation was the only independent risk factor in a multivariate model. In six-month survivors, there was no statistically significant decrease in pulmonary function test results (PFT) examined at the follow-up visit compared with earlier PFT examined near the time of AE-ILD.

Conclusions: The AE-ILD survivors were a heterogeneous group of patients both clinically and in terms of their outcome. A non-elective respiratory re-hospitalisation was identified as a marker of poor prognosis among AE-ILD survivors.

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Series: BMC pulmonary medicine
ISSN: 1471-2466
ISSN-E: 1471-2466
ISSN-L: 1471-2466
Volume: 23
Issue: 1
Article number: 236
DOI: 10.1186/s12890-023-02534-0
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. This work has been supported by a state subsidy of Oulu University Hospital, the Research Foundation of Pulmonary Diseases, Helsinki, Finland, and the Research Foundation of North Finland.
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