Behr, Juergen; Richeldi, Luca:
Recommendations on treatment for IPF.
In: Respiratory Research
Patient management in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is largely based on societal guidelines and recommendations. A recent update by the American Thoracic Society (ATS), European Respiratory Society (ERS), Japanese Respiratory Society (JRS) and Latin American Thoracic Association (ALAT) provided updated guidance on the diagnosis and management of IPF, along with recommendations on pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches to patient management. The treatment guidance is based on GRADE criteria, which rates the quality of evidence according to previously published methodology. Here we discuss how to interpret the recent guideline updates and the implications of this guidance for clinical practice. In addition we discuss the assessment and recommendations for a number of pharmacological agents that have been the focus of clinical trials over the past years. Although no single pharmacological agent was recommended by the guidelines committee, we discuss how since then, more recent data have resulted in the approval of pirfenidone in Europe, and preliminary negative findings regarding the safety of a triple therapy regimen consisting of prednisone, azathioprine and N-acetylcysteine have raised the question of whether it is no longer a treatment option. As clinicians, we must interpret the available guidance and recommendations as we consider each individual patient and as we discuss the available clinical data and the patient's own preferences in our approach to the management of this disease.