Collagen and elastic system in the remodelling process of major types of idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIP).Histopathology. 2005 Apr; 46(4):413-21.H
Structural remodelling in acute and chronic idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (IIP) has been extensively investigated, but little attention has been directed to the elastic tissue in these situations. The aim of this study was to determine whether elastic deposition accompanies collagen deposition in the four major histological patterns of IIP: diffuse alveolar damage (DAD), organizing pneumonia (OP), non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) and usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP).
METHODS AND RESULTS
We measured, by image analysis, the content of fibres of the collagenous and elastic systems of the alveolar septum in histological slides of open lung biopsies, using the picrosirius-polarization method and Weigert's resorcin-fuchsin stain, respectively. Five groups were studied: 10 cases of DAD; nine cases of OP; nine cases of NSIP; and 10 cases of UIP. Four normal lungs were used for comparison. The content of collagen fibres was significantly higher in UIP when compared to DAD, NSIP, OP and normal lung. The content of elastic fibres was increased in comparison with normal lungs but this was not significantly different among the histological patterns.
Acute and chronic IIP cause a similar increase in the collagen and elastic contents of the lungs, representing a process of 'fibroelastosis' rather than an exclusive process of fibrosis. A profibrogenic mechanism is responsible for the unparallelled collagen augmentation observed in UIP subjects, the nature of which is yet to be determined.