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Survey: How Consistently do Physicians Diagnose DI-ILD?

How consistently do physicians diagnose and manage drug-induced interstitial lung disease? Two surveys of European ILD specialist physicians

James A. Eaden, Sarah Skeoch, John C. Waterton, Nazia Chaudhuri, Stephen M. Bianchi on behalf of the TRISTAN investigators

ERJ Open Research 2020 6: 00286-2019 doi: 10.1183/23120541.00286-2019.



Currently there are no general guidelines for diagnosis or management of suspected drug-induced (DI) interstitial lung disease (ILD). The objective was to survey a sample of current European practice in the diagnosis and management of DI-ILD, in the context of the prescribing information approved by regulatory authorities for 28 licenced drugs with a recognised risk of DI-ILD.


Consultant physicians working in specialist ILD centres across Europe were emailed two surveys via a website link. Initially, opinion was sought regarding various diagnostic and management options based on seven clinical ILD case vignettes and five general questions regarding DI-ILD. The second survey involved 29 statements regarding the diagnosis and management of DI-ILD, derived from the results of the first survey. Consensus agreement was defined as 75% or greater.


When making a diagnosis of DI-ILD, the favoured investigations used (other than computed tomography) included pulmonary function tests, bronchoscopy and blood tests. The preferred method used to decide when to stop treatment was a pulmonary function test. In the second survey, the majority of the statements were accepted by the 33 respondents, with only four of 29 statements not achieving consensus when the responses “agree” and “strongly agree” were combined as one answer.


The two surveys provide guidance for clinicians regarding an approach to the diagnosis and management of DI-ILD in which the current evidence base is severely lacking, as demonstrated by the limited information provided by the manufacturers of the drugs associated with a high risk of DI-ILD that we reviewed.