Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)?

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive disease of the lung tissues, where the cause is unknown. The condition results in scarring of the alveoli (small air sacs) in the lungs. This inhibits breathing and causes shortness of breath, fatigue, and other symptoms.

Symptoms of IPF

Common symptoms of IPF include:

  • Shortness of breath, particularly with physical activity
  • A dry, hacking cough
  • Weight loss
  • Chest discomfort due to coughing
  • Clubbing of fingers

Diagnosing IPF

Diagnosis of IPF can be difficult, as it requires a combination of medical tests. Common tests for the condition include spirometry, a high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scan, and a pulmonary function test. Additionally, a biopsy of the lungs is often required.

Treatment of IPF

Treatment for IPF is focused on reducing symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease. Treatment may include medications, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, lifestyle changes, and surgery.