We applaud the National Institutes of Health for funding this important study by Gochuico et al.1 Continued research is crucial for gaining insight into the natural history of interstitial lung disease (ILD) related to connective tissue diseases (CTDs). Assessment and response criteria are profoundly lacking, making it very challenging to develop and gauge effective targeted therapy. In addition, only investigative attention to screening will be able to reveal whether drug-associated CTD-ILD (eg, biological agents, methotrexate) are the primary culprits or triggers exacerbating preexisting subclinical ILD. Among CTDs, the prevalence of occult ILD may be greater than 30%.2,3 Early detection and treatment is imperative.
Saketkoo LA, Espinoza LR. Rheumatoid Arthritis Interstitial Lung Disease: Mycophenolate Mofetil as an Antifibrotic and Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drug. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(15):1718-1719. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.15.1718