reviewed the clinical records of 487 patients with a diagnosis of
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis of the usual interstitial pneumonia type
confirmed by findings on CT scan (94.7%) or surgical lung biopsy
specimens (20.3%) during the years 1994 to 1996. We compared survival
in these patients as a function of treatment program based on intent to
treat at the time of the initial visit within the study window.
Treatment with colchicine alone was advised for 167 patients, no
therapy was used in 157 patients, prednisone at maintenance doses alone
was prescribed in 54 patients, colchicine plus prednisone was
prescribed in 71 patients, and other programs were used in 38 patients.
Oxygen therapy was advised in 133 of these patients. By univariate
analysis, we found that survival was significantly worse for patients
treated with prednisone than with no therapy and for patients receiving
oxygen therapy compared to those for whom oxygen was not advised.
However, on multivariate analysis, we found that worse survival was
associated with male gender, increasing age, lower carbon monoxide
diffusing capacity, lower alveolar volume, and a history of worsening
pulmonary function. When these factors were included in a multivariate
analysis, we found no significant differences in survival between
patients treated with colchicine or prednisone and those receiving no
therapy. Similarly, we found no difference in survival between patients
receiving oxygen and those not so