Pulmonary Services 1st in Mississippi to Detect Deadly Lung Disease using Genomic Testing

MS Gulf Coast – Singing River Health System Pulmonary Services is first in the state to offer the Envisia™ Genomic Classifier, a new tool to help accurately diagnose Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). IPF is an incurable progressive interstitial lung disease that causes scarring and changes to the lung’s ability to function. Using the Envisia genomic test may enable faster, safer and more accurate diagnosis of IPF than previous detection methods. The Envisia test is covered by Medicare and data published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, shows that the Envisia classifier can improve IPF diagnosis.

Subhas Sitaula, MD and Ijlal Babar, MD – Singing River Pulmonologists conducting the Evisia Genomic Classifier for IPF detection.

Potential Benefits of Envisia Genomic Testing for Patients/Guests:

  • An earlier, more accurate diagnosis of IPF, without the need for invasive surgery
  • Earlier lung transplant referral
  • Initiation of antifibrotic therapy to slow down scarring caused by IPF
  • Avoidance of harmful treatments that could worsen IPF

A high-resolution CT (HRCT) chest scan is typically the first step in diagnosing a patient with suspected IPF. However, an HRCT scan can miss up to 50% of patients who may have IPF because it does not reveal specific radiologic features. In these cases, IPF clinical practice guidelines recommend that patients undergo a surgical lung biopsy, an invasive procedure, to clarify their diagnosis. Further, a national survey from the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation showed that 55% of patients with IPF or other interstitial lung diseases reported being misdiagnosed at least once, while 43% required more than a year to get an accurate diagnosis.

Risk factors of IPF:

  • Viral infections
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Genetics may play a role in causing IPF

The most common IPF signs and symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath with exertion, which progresses to shortness of breath with rest
  • A permanent dry, hacking cough
  • Repeated uncontrollable coughing
  • Clubbing – the widening and rounding of the fingertips or toes

The cause of IPF lung scarring is unknown, but many physicians believe that something inside or outside of the lungs attacks again and again over time. These attacks injure the lungs and scar the tissue inside and between the air sacs, making it harder for oxygen to pass through the air sac walls into the bloodstream.

Singing River Health System’s award-winning pulmonary team has the expertise and technology to treat complex chronic conditions such as IPF and other interstitial lung diseases, lung cancer, pulmonary hypertension, COPD and others.

For more information, visit Pulmonary Services.

To learn more about the Envisia Genomic Classifier, visit www.veracyte.com