Is a common lung scarring condition which can lead to serious respiratory difficulties.
Formation of scar tissue over many years is referred to as ‘fibrosis’ which results in thickening of the lung walls and a reduced oxygen supply to the blood. There is no known cure for the lung damage caused by pulmonary fibrosis.
There are instances when the cause of the fibrosis is clear and a clinical diagnosis can be made but in other cases where the cause might not be so apparent the condition is generally referred to as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
A diagnosis can be confirmed following a lung biopsy where the tissue is examined histopathologically by microscopy to confirm and identify the pattern of fibrosis and other features which might indicate a specific cause eg. certain types of mineral dust.
Pulmonary fibrosis may be a secondary effect of another disease and can sometimes be referred to as usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). Diseases and conditions which might cause pulmonary fibrosis as a secondary effect are listed under Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILD).
Misdiagnosis is common due to the difficulties involved in identifying the various types of pulmonary fibrosis which is complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Experts may disagree with classification in some instances.
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