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Original research
Epidemiology of childhood interstitial lung disease in France: the RespiRare cohort


Introduction Interstitial lung disease in children (chILD) are rare and mostly severe lung diseases. Very few epidemiological data are available in limited series of patients. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and incidence of chILD in France.

Methods We performed within the RespiRare network a multicentre retrospective observational study in patients with chILD from 2000 to 2022 and a prospective evaluation of chILD’s incidence between February 2022 and 2023.

Results chILD was reported in 790 patients in 42 centres. The estimated 2022 prevalence in France was 44 /million children (95% CI 40.76 to 47.46) and the computed incidence was 4.4 /million children (95% CI 3.44 to 5.56). The median age at diagnosis was 3 months with 16.9% of familial forms. Lung biopsy and genetic analyses were performed in 23.4% and 76.9%, respectively. The most frequent chILD aetiologies in the <2 years group were surfactant metabolism disorders (16.3%) and neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia of infancy (11.8%), and in the 2–18 years group diffuse alveolar haemorrhage (12.2%), connective tissue diseases (11.4%), hypersensitivity pneumonitis (8.8%) and sarcoidosis (8.8%). The management included mainly oxygen therapy (52%), corticosteroid pulses (56%), oral corticosteroids (44%), azithromycin (27.2%), enteral nutrition (26.9%), immunosuppressants (20.3%) and hydroxychloroquine (15.9%). The 5-year survival rate was 57.3% for the patients diagnosed before 2 years and 86% between 2 and 18 years.

Conclusion This large and systematic epidemiological study confirms a higher incidence and prevalence of chILD than previously described. In order to develop international studies, efforts are still needed to optimise the case collection and to harmonise diagnostic and management practices.

  • Child
  • Clinical Epidemiology
  • Rare lung diseases
  • Paediatric Lung Disaese
  • Paediatric interstitial lung disease

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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