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Test could predict which idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients will become severely ill
Date:2/3/2010

2 months.

"We suspect that as these CD4 cells repeatedly multiply, subsequent generations become abnormal," Dr. Duncan said. "The altered cells send out signals that promote inflammatory processes, which perhaps could lead to the fibrosis of the lung tissue that characterizes IPF."

"What is remarkable about this result is that it suggests that we may be able to develop a screening test for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, much like cholesterol levels in the case of atherosclerosis, that identifies the patients at greatest need for referral for life-saving lung transplantation," said Mark T. Gladwin, M.D., chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Pitt School of Medicine. "In addition, it provides new insights into how the immune system is dysfunctional in this disease."

The findings also hint that a low-level, chronic infection or a chronic immune response to a normal protein (an auto-antigen) might be a triggering event for the abnormal immune response, and Dr. Duncan now is looking for genetic missteps that might lead to this quirky, autoimmune-like reaction.


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Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
SrikamAV@upmc.edu
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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