Since its inception 25 years ago, the Pulmonary Pathology Society (PPS; https://www.pulmonarypath.org) has been continuously committed to supporting education, research, and modern clinical practice in pulmonary pathology. The 11th PPS Biennial Meeting took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, a cultural United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site, June 26–28, 2019. The intent of this unique continuing medical education meeting is to provide up-to-date information in diagnosis and management of patients with neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases of the lung, pleura, and mediastinum. This was the largest meeting in the history of the PPS, organized under the leadership of Mary Beth Beasley, MD (PPS president 2017–2018); Philip Cagle, MD (program committee chair); Mari Mino-Kenudson, MD (abstract committee cochair); Andre Moreira, MD, PhD (abstract committee cochair); Donald Guinee, MD (PPS president 2010–2011 and Web support); and all members of the executive council. It was truly a global meeting, with attendees and invited faculty from every continent. We are grateful to the editorial staff of Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine for the support of this special section that includes 4 reviews based on topics in nonneoplastic lung diseases, as well as abstracts presented at the meeting.
The article by Maxwell Smith, MD, and colleagues reflects on the challenges for the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis proposed by the American Thoracic Society, the European Respiratory Society, the Japanese Respiratory Society, and the Latin American Thoracic Society (ATS/ERS/JRS/ALAT) and by the Fleischner Society. Both the ATS/ERS/JRS/ALAT and the Fleischner Society published guidelines in 2018 provide pathologists with a tool to relay to the clinician the likelihood that a biopsy represents usual interstitial pneumonia, and serve as an adjunct, not a replacement, for traditional histologic diagnosis. The authors conclude that there are multiple challenges with implementing the guidelines, including lack of clarity on the quantity and quality of histologic findings required, lack of recognition that histologic features cannot be assessed independently, and lack of guidance on how pathologists should incorporate clinical and radiographic information. The authors emphasize that these challenges highlight the need for further morphology-based investigations in the field of pulmonary pathology. In 2019 there was an outbreak of vaping-associated severe respiratory illness primarily in the United States. Matthew Cecchini, MD, PhD, and colleagues discuss in great detail cytologic and histopathologic features of vaping-associated lung injury and the role of pathology in this diagnosis. Alberto Cavazza, MD, presents an excellent review on transbronchial cryobiopsy as an emerging procedure to obtain lung tissue for diagnosis of interstitial lung disease that is summarized in this special section with the help of Mitra Mehrad, MD, Thomas V. Colby, MD, and Giulio Rossi, MD, PhD, who also have extensive clinical experience in evaluating these lung tissue samples. Finally, Andrew Churg, MD, presents a review on the ever-challenging differential diagnosis of centrilobular fibrosis in interstitial lung diseases. The abstracts presented at this PPS meeting will appear in a future issue of the Archives.
As the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect millions of lives across the world, we remain optimistic and currently are planning our next PPS Biennial Meeting in Cork, Ireland, June 23–25, 2021. This meeting should give us the opportunity to discuss the lung pathology of COVID-19, the upcoming 2020 World Health Organization classification of thoracic tumors, and other hot topics.
I hope you will find the selected topics interesting and informative.
The author has no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.