What is IPF?

What is IPF?

  • Basal inspiratory crackles on lung auscultation, which sound like Velcro® slowly torn apart
  • Increasing breathlessness on exertion
  • Non-productive cough on exertion
  • Patient age over 45 years

Refer patients with these symptoms to your pulmonologist, who may request a thin-slice HRCT scan without contrast agent after performing pulmonary function tests1

It could be Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a rare but deadly lung disease, with a lower survival rate than many common malignancies.2-5,12

Treatment is available,13 and early diagnosis can make a difference.

IPF is often diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease. It is commonly misdiagnosed as other conditions that have some symptoms that mimic IPF, such as:14

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Other lung diseases
  • Connective tissue diseases

It is important to identify patients presenting with the key clinical features of IPF so that they can be referred to a pulmonologist.

Definition of IPF

IPF is a rare, debilitating and deadly disease, characterised by a progressive and irreversible decline in lung function.1,7 Scarring of lung tissue through dysregulated fibrosis is a key pathophysiological feature.1,7 Each patient has a different and unpredictable course of disease.1,8

Key clinical features of IPF1

  • Increasing breathlessness on exertion
  • Non-productive cough on exertion
  • Patient age over 45 years
  • Basal inspiratory crackles on lung auscultation, which sound like Velcro® slowly torn apart
cq5dam.thumbnail.500.500