Utility of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody screening in idiopathic interstitial lung disease Vasculitis screening in ILD

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Lee Fidler
Sonja Kandel
Jolene Fisher
Shikha Mittoo
Shane Shapera


interstitial lung disease, vasculitis, screening


Background: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is an established manifestation of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis. Autoimmune serologic screening is recommended by international consensus guidelines during the evaluation of idiopathic ILD, but ANCA testing only on a case-by-case basis. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the role of ANCA screening in patients with idiopathic ILD. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients seen between September 2015 and April 2017 in the ILD clinic at Toronto General Hospital. Patients referred with confirmed or suspected connective tissue disease were excluded. Patient demographics, symptoms, chest imaging, and pulmonary function testing was collected. We performed descriptive statistics based on the presence of ANCAs and estimated operating characteristics for ANCA screening. Results: In total, 360 patients with idiopathic ILD were reviewed, 159 met study inclusion criteria and 4 (2.5%) tested positive for ANCAs. Two patients (1.2%) had elevated myeloperoxidase-ANCAs (MPO-ANCA) and 2 (1.2%) had elevated proteinase-3-ANCAs (PR3-ANCA). There were no significant associations between patient demographics and ANCAs. One patient (0.6%) with PR3-ANCAs was diagnosed with vasculitis following rheumatologic evaluation. Despite negative ANCA testing, 1 patient (0.6%) was diagnosed with vasculitis following rheumatologic evaluation. The sensitivity and specificity of ANCA screening for vasculitis in patients with ILD was calculated as 50% (95% CI, 1.3%-98.7%) and 98% (95%CI, 4.4-155.5) respectively. Negative and positive likelihood ratios were 0.5 (95%CI 0.1-2.0) and 26.2 (95%CI 4.4-155.5) respectively. Conclusion: ANCA screening in patients with idiopathic ILD rarely yields positive results. These results support an individualized approach to ANCA testing as opposed to widespread screening.


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