Lege Artis Medicinae

[How to diagnose idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Part 2]

HORVÁTH Ildikó, KERPEL-FRONIUS Anna, HARKÓ Tünde

AUGUST 30, 2018

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2018;28(06-07)

[Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a severe irreversible lung disease with a progressive course. The disease onset is hard to discover due to the unspecific signs and symp­toms. It occurs mainly in elderly people. In the past decades its prevalence has increased continuously. Physical examination, restrictive pattern on lung function test with decreased diffusion capacity are characteristic features of the disease. Chest X-ray showing fibrotic pattern also points toward the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Differential diagnosis is based on high resolution komputertomográfy. Diag­nosis of IPF is based on the appearance of usual interstitial pneumonia pattern together with the lack of external risk factors and autoimmune or other diseases also known to cause this pattern seen on chest imaging. If no firm diagnosis can be built lung biopsy is required. Multidis­ciplinary teams from clinician, radiologist and pathologist are set in predefined centres that could provide care with novel antifibrotic drugs. These can slow disease progression and are in the frontline in the treatment of the disease. Further research is required to understand the pathomechanism and foster the discovery of further treatment options. ]

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