Interstitial Lung Disease
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Pulmonary rehab appears to improve survival in patients with fibrotic ILD

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Patients with fibrotic interstitial lung disease (ILD) who had improvement in 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) during pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) had better survival compared with patients who did not experience improved performance, according to a study.

In this retrospective cohort study, 701 patients with fibrotic ILD who received inpatient (n = 196) or outpatient (n = 505) PR were included. The association between change in 6MWD and time to death or lung transplantation were estimated with multivariable models.

At baseline, 6MWD was 262 m and 358 m for inpatients and outpatients, respectively, with changes of 55 m and 34 m, respectively.

According to an adjusted analysis for both inpatients and outpatients, an improvement in 6MWD during PR was associated with lower hazard rates for death or lung transplant.

Patients who participated in in ≥80% of planned outpatient PR sessions had a a 33% lower risk of death.

The authors noted that a randomized controlled trial is needed to confirm these findings and change clinical practice.

Guler SA, Hur SA, Stickland MK, et al. Survival after inpatient or outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with fibrotic interstitial lung disease: a multicentre retrospective cohort study. Thorax. 2021-217361. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2021-217361. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34462346.