A UK First: Cryoscopic Diagnosis of IPF

Dr Mikolasch in action

We are delighted to report that, in early February 2014, UCLH diagnosed idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis from a minimally invasive cryoscopic lung biopsy. This is a UK first and was made possible by Breathing Matters. The cryoscopic lung biopsy (CLB) was performed by Dr Theresia Mikolasch (Breathing Matters ‘Lawrence Matz’ Clinical Fellow) under the supervision of Dr Neal Navani at UCLH.  The cryoscope was part-funded by Breathing Matters with monies donated in memory of Ana Timberlake and Dr Mikolasch, who has driven this project forward, was funded by the Lawrence Matz Memorial Fund. 

By working with patients and relatives to address their concerns, Breathing Matters has developed a crucial area of our service to meet patients’ needs. 

This is important for:

1.  The Patient:  who undergoes a day case procedure as opposed to a surgical lung biopsy, thereby avoiding hospital admission, unslightly and painful scar and a chest drain.

2. The histopathologist: who said the quality of the tissue and preservation were excellent and much better than other minimally invasive biopsies due to the freezing during the procedure. 

3. Our ILD research programme: We now have access to lung tissue that is removed, but is excess to that needed for clinical diagnosis. 

Where do we go from here?:

-A multicentre study to investigate the role of early CLB in the patient pathway in idiopathic ILD.

-The resulting increase in tissue samples will be used to expand our complementary basic science programme.