Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Other Names for this Disease
- Acute interstitial pneumonia
- Acute interstitial pneumonitis
- Cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis
- Familial idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a condition in which tissues in the lungs become thick and stiff, or scarred, over time. The lungs then lose their ability to move oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body. Common symptoms include shortness of breath and a dry, hacking cough. In some cases fibrosis happens quickly, while in others, the process is much slower. Sometimes the disease stays the same for years. The condition is 'idiopathic' because the cause is unknown. When multiple family members are affected, it is called familial IPF. Many people with this condition live for about 3-5 years after the diagnosis. The most common cause of death is respiratory failure.
Last updated: 7/30/2014
- What Is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?. NHLBI. September 20, 2011; http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ipf/. Accessed 7/30/2014.
- The Mayo Clinic provides information about Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Click on the above link to access this information.
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