Distribution of HLA antigens in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Divergent observations suggest that genetic factors contribute to the susceptibility to or clinical course of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. To determine whether there is an association between the major histocompatibility (HLA) system and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the distribution of 35 antigens of HLA loci A and B was determined among 33 white patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and 329 healthy white control subjects. Although certain antigens tended to be more prevalent among patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis compared with control subjects, there were no significant differences in the phenotype frequencies of the HLA-A and HLA-B antigens between these 2 groups. Thus, although subtle associations may exist between the HLA loci and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, these results indicate that antigens of the HLA-A and HLA-B loci are not linked with major risk factors in this disease.