Inflammation Research

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 51–56

Sputum eosinophilia in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

  • S. S. Birring
  • D. Parker
  • S. McKenna
  • B. Hargadon
  • C. E. Brightling
  • I. D. Pavord
  • P. Bradding
Original Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00011-004-1321-x

Cite this article as:
Birring, S.S., Parker, D., McKenna, S. et al. Inflamm. res. (2005) 54: 51. doi:10.1007/s00011-004-1321-x
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Abstract.

Objectives and Design: Cough is a common symptom in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis that is difficult to treat and has a major impact on quality of life. We tested the hypothesis that the cough and increased cough reflex sensitivity seen in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis may be due to airway inflammation in a prospective, cross-sectional study.

Subjects and Methods: We measured the induced sputum inflammatory cell profile and cell-free supernatant inflammatory mediator concentrations in 15 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, 17 healthy controls and 15 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Results: Both the geometric mean sputum differential eosinophil cell count and median eosinophilic-cationic-protein concentration were significantly higher in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis than controls (2.1% vs 0.3%; p < 0.001 and 1.1 mg/ml versus 0.2 mg/ml; p = 0.03 respectively). There were no significant differences in sputum eosinophil counts and eosinophilic-cationic-protein concentrations between patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Sputum leukotriene-B4 concentrations were significantly lower in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (p = 0.03) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (p = 0.008) compared to controls.

Conclusions: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is characterised by the presence of active eosinophilic airway inflammation raising the possibility that airway inflammation may contribute to symptoms such as cough.

Key words.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis chronic obstructive pulmonary disease eosinophils cough 

Abbreviations.

IPF

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

COPD

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

FEV1

forced expiratory volume in 1 second

FVC

forced vital capacity

SE

standard error

SD

standard deviation

PG

prostaglandin

Cyst-LT

cysteinyl-leukotriene

ECP

eosinophilic cationic protein

IL

interleukin

HRCT

high resolution computerised tomography

UIP

usual interstitial pneumonia

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. S. Birring
    • 1
  • D. Parker
    • 1
  • S. McKenna
    • 1
  • B. Hargadon
    • 1
  • C. E. Brightling
    • 1
  • I. D. Pavord
    • 1
  • P. Bradding
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Lung Health, Department of Respiratory MedicineGlenfield HospitalLeicesterUnited Kingdom

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