See the signs of 

Early and accurate fibrotic interstitial lung disease (ILD) diagnosis requires high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT)1–4



Early referral can enable early access to HRCT and multidisciplinary evaluation for accurate diagnosis, and appropriate care and treatment1,4,5–7

HRCT is the gold standard in diagnosing and assessing the severity of ILDs2



HRCT image from patient with systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD)


Image reproduced with permission from Prof Ferretti and Dr Thivolet.


HRCT allows for the recognition of abnormalities which may not be apparent on chest X-ray8

A multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach is important for the diagnosis and management of fibrotic ILD5,9,10

  • An MDT approach, including a radiologist where appropriate, may be key to the identification of fibrotic ILDs5,6,11
  • In a Canadian study of 126 patients with fibrotic ILDs, multidisciplinary discussion (MDD) led to changes in management in 39% (n=50/126) of these patients12
  • Multidisciplinary diagnosis is associated with higher levels of diagnostic confidence and better interobserver agreement when compared to the individual components of the multidisciplinary team in isolation5,6

Diagnosis of fibrotic ILD requires specialist expertise and review of HRCT scans – you play a crucial role in referring patients with suspected fibrotic ILD1


HRCT, high-resolution computed tomography; ILD, interstitial lung disease; MDD, multidisciplinary discussion; MDT, multidisciplinary team; SSc-ILD, systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease.

  1. Zibrak JD, Price D. Interstitial lung disease: raising the index of suspicion in primary care. NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. 2014;24:14054.
  2. Chowaniec M, Skoczyńska M, Sokolik R, Wiland P. Interstitial lung disease in systemic sclerosis: challenges in early diagnosis and management. Reumatologia. 2018;56(4):249–254.
  3. Wallace B, Vummidi D, Khanna D. Management of connective tissue diseases associated interstitial lung disease: A review of the published literature. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2016;28(3):236–245.
  4. Molina-Molina M, Aburto M, Acosta O, et al. Importance of early diagnosis and treatment in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Exp Rev Resp Med. 2018;12(7):537–539.
  5. Walsh SLF. Multidisciplinary evaluation of interstitial lung diseases: current insights. Eur Respir Rev. 2017;26:170002.
  6. De Sadeleer LJ, Meert C, Yserbyt J, et al. Diagnostic ability of a dynamic multidisciplinary discussion in interstitial lung diseases: A retrospective observational study of 938 cases. Chest. 2018;153(6):1416–1423.
  7. Cottin V, Cordier J-F. Velcro crackles: the key for early diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis? Eur Respir J. 2012;40(3):519–521.
  8. Walsh SLF, Anand Devaraj A, Enghelmayer JI, et al. Role of imaging in progressive-fibrosing interstitial lung diseases. Eur Respir Rev. 2018;27(150):180073.
  9. Furini F, Carnevale A, Casoni GL, et al. The role of the multidisciplinary evaluation of interstitial lung diseases: systematic literature review of the current evidence and future perspectives. Front Med (Lausanne). 2019;6:246.
  10. De Lorenzis E, Bosello SL, Varone F, et al. Multidisciplinary evaluation of interstitial lung diseases: new opportunities linked to rheumatologist involvement. Diagnostics (Basel). 2020;10(9):664.
  11. Cottin V, Valenzuela C. Diagnostic approach of fibrosing interstitial lung diseases of unknown origin. Presse Med. 2020;49(2):104021.
  12. Ageely G, Souza C, De Boer K, et al. The impact of multidisciplinary discussion (MDD) in the diagnosis and management of fibrotic interstitial lung diseases. Can Respir J. 2020;2020:9026171.

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