CT imaging phenotypes of pulmonary fibrosis in the muc5b promoter site polymorphism

Jonathan H. Chung, Anna L. Peljto, Ashish Chawla, Janet L. Talbert, David F. McKean, Byung Hak Rho, Tasha E. Fingerlin, Marvin I. Schwarz, David A. Schwartz, David A. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: To determine the effect of the MUC5B promoter polymorphism (rs35705950) on the CT imaging appearance of pulmonary fibrosis. METHODS: High-resolution CT scans of 1,764 subjects were scored as part of a, genomewide association study with institutional review board approval; 1,491 of these had pulmonary fibrosis on CT scans and were included in the study. Two thoracic radiologists independently scored CT scans systematically. Discrepancies were resolved by a third thoracic radiologist. All patients were genotyped specifically for the rs35705950 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Two-tailed Fisher exact or c2 tests and Student t tests or Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare proportions and means, respectively. RESULTS: The major and minor alleles at the rs35705950 SNP are guanine (G) and thymine (T), respectively: 514 were homozygous for the major allele (G group), and 977 were heterozygous or homozygous for the minor allele (T group). The G group had a higher proportion than the T group with ground-glass opacity (62.1% vs 54.2%; P=.04). There was no significant difference between the G and T groups regarding presence of honeycombing. The T group showed a significantly higher subpleural axial distribution of fibrosis than did the G group (62.3% vs 42.2%; P < .0001). The T group showed a lower proportion of diagnoses inconsistent with usual interstitial pneumonitis (UIP; 20.3% compared with 30.5% for the G group) and a greater proportion of confident (probable UIP and UIP) UIP diagnoses (43.8% compared with 32.6% for the G group). CONCLUSIONS: The MUC5B promoter polymorphism identifies a pattern of fibrosis that is different from other causes of fibrosis and may respond differently to potential therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1215-1222
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • CT imaging
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • MUC5B
  • Rs35705950
  • Usual interstitial pneumonitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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