Mycophenolate mofetil improves lung function in connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease

Aryeh Fischer, Kevin K Brown, Roland M Du Bois, Stephen K Frankel, Gregory P Cosgrove, Evans R Fernandez-Perez, Tristan J Huie, Mahalakshmi Krishnamoorthy, Richard T Meehan, Amy L Olson, Joshua J Solomon, Jeffrey J Swigris
Journal of Rheumatology 2013, 40 (5): 640-6

OBJECTIVE: Small series suggest mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is well tolerated and may be an effective therapy for connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease (CTD-ILD). We examined the tolerability and longitudinal changes in pulmonary physiology in a large and diverse cohort of patients with CTD-ILD treated with MMF.

METHODS: We identified consecutive patients evaluated at our center between January 2008 and January 2011 and prescribed MMF for CTD-ILD. We assessed safety and tolerability of MMF and used longitudinal data analyses to examine changes in pulmonary physiology over time, before and after initiation of MMF.

RESULTS: We identified 125 subjects treated with MMF for a median 897 days. MMF was discontinued in 13 subjects. MMF was associated with significant improvements in estimated percentage of predicted forced vital capacity (FVC%) from MMF initiation to 52, 104, and 156 weeks (4.9% ± 1.9%, p = 0.01; 6.1% ± 1.8%, p = 0.0008; and 7.3% ± 2.6%, p = 0.004, respectively); and in estimated percentage predicted diffusing capacity (DLCO%) from MMF initiation to 52 and 104 weeks (6.3% ± 2.8%, p = 0.02; 7.1% ± 2.8%, p = 0.01). In the subgroup without usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP)-pattern injury, MMF significantly improved FVC% and DLCO%, and in the subgroup with UIP-pattern injury, MMF was associated with stability in FVC% and DLCO%.

CONCLUSION: In a large diverse cohort of CTD-ILD, MMF was well tolerated and had a low rate of discontinuation. Treatment with MMF was associated with either stable or improved pulmonary physiology over a median 2.5 years of followup. MMF appears to be a promising therapy for the spectrum of CTD-ILD.

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