Defining the pathway to timely diagnosis and treatment of interstitial lung disease: A US Delphi survey

Amy Hajari Case, Scott Beegle, David L. Hotchkin, Thomas Kaelin, Hyun Joo Kim, Anna J. Podolanczuk, Murali Ramaswamy, Carlos Remolina, Mary M. Salvatore, Conan Tu, Joao A. De Andrade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Timely diagnosis of interstitial lung disease (ILD) is limited by obstacles in the current patient pathway. Misdiagnosis and delays are common and may lead to a significant burden of diagnostic procedures and worse outcomes. This Delphi survey aimed to identify consensus on the key steps that facilitate the patient journey to an accurate ILD diagnosis and appropriate management in the US. Methods A modified Delphi analysis was conducted, comprising three online surveys based on a comprehensive literature search. The surveys spanned five domains (guidelines, community screening, diagnosis, management and specialist referral) and were completed by a panel of US physicians, including primary care physicians and pulmonologists practising in community or academic settings. A priori definitions of consensus agreement were median scores of 2-3 (agree strongly/agree), with an IQR of 0-1 for questions on a 7-point Likert scale from-3 to 3, or ≥80% agreement for binary questions. Results Forty-nine panellists completed the surveys and 62 statements reached consensus agreement. There was consensus agreement on what should be included in the primary care evaluation of patients with suspected ILD and the next steps following workup. Regarding diagnosis in community pulmonology care, consensus agreement was reached on the requisition and reporting of high-resolution CT scans and the appropriate circumstances for holding multidisciplinary discussions. Additionally, there was consensus agreement on which symptoms and comorbidities should be monitored, the frequency of consultations and the assessment of disease progression. Regarding specialist referral, consensus agreement was reached on which patients should receive priority access to ILD centres and the contents of the referral package. Conclusions These findings clarify the most common issues that should merit further evaluation for ILD and help define the steps for timely, accurate diagnosis and appropriate collaborative specialty management of patients with ILD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001594
JournalBMJ Open Respiratory Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 24 Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Imaging/CT MRI etc
  • Interstitial Fibrosis
  • Respiratory Measurement


Dive into the research topics of 'Defining the pathway to timely diagnosis and treatment of interstitial lung disease: A US Delphi survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this