The role of the multidisciplinary evaluation of interstitial lung diseases: Systematic literature review of the current evidence and future perspectives

Federica Furini, Aldo Carnevale, Gian Luca Casoni, Giulio Guerrini, Lorenzo Cavagna, Marcello Govoni, Carlo Alberto Sciré

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The opportunity of a multidisciplinary evaluation for the diagnosis of interstitial pneumonias highlighted a major change in the diagnostic approach to diffuse lung disease. The new American Thoracic Society, European Respiratory Society, Japanese Respiratory Society, and Latin American Thoracic Society guidelines for the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis have reinforced this assumption and have underlined that the exclusion of connective tissue disease related lung involvement is mandatory, with obvious clinical and therapeutic impact. The multidisciplinary team discussion consists in amoment of interaction among the radiologist, pathologist and pulmonologist, also including the rheumatologist when considered necessary, to improve diagnostic agreement and optimize the definition of those cases in which pulmonary involvement may represent the first or prominent manifestation of an autoimmune systemic disease. Moreover, the proposal of classification criteria for interstitial lung disease with autoimmune features (IPAF) represents an effort to define lung involvement in clinically undefined autoimmune conditions. The complexity of autoimmune diseases, and in particular the lack of classification criteria defined for pathologies such as anti-synthetase syndrome, makes the involvement of the rheumatologist essential for the correct interpretation of the autoimmune element and for the application of classification criteria, that could replace clinical pictures initially interpreted as IPAF in defined autoimmune disease, minimizing the risk of misdiagnosis. The aim of this review was to evaluate the available evidence about the efficiency and efficacy of different multidisciplinary team approaches, in order to standardize the professional figures and the core set procedures that should be necessary for a correct approach in diagnosing patients with interstitial lung disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number246
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Connective tissue disease (CTD)
  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
  • Interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features (IPAF)
  • Multidisciplinary team (MDT)
  • Rheumatologist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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