Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
i-de-o-PA-thic PUL-mo-nar-e fi-BRO-sisEn Español (Spanish Version)
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic disease. It causes inflammation and fibrosis (scarring) of tissue in the lungs. It occurs most often in people aged 50-70.
There are various types with similar symptoms, but different response to treatment and outcomes.
Idiopathic means the cause is not known.
Researchers think that IPF is an exaggerated and uncontrolled inflammatory response. This produces the scar tissue. What starts the cycle is not known. Over time, scarring surrounds the thin walled air sacs in the lungs. This makes the tissue thicker and stiffer. As a result, breathing becomes difficult. The lungs gradually lose their ability to pass oxygen to the rest of the body.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedFebruary 2014by Michael Woods, MD
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