Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a type of chronic scarring lung disease characterized by a progressive and irreversible decline in lung function. Symptoms typically include gradual onset of shortness of breath and a dry cough. Other changes may include feeling tired and abnormally large and dome shaped finger and toenails Complications may include pulmonary hypertension, heart failure, pneumonia, or pulmonary embolism. The cause is unknown. Risk factors include cigarette smoking, certain viral infections, and a family history of the condition. The underlying mechanism involves scarring of the lungs. Diagnosis requires ruling out other potential causes. It may be supported by a CT scan or lung biopsy which show usual interstitial pneumonia. It is a type of interstitial lung disease.

The cause of Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is unknown but certain environmental factors and exposures have been shown to increase the risk of getting Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Cigarette smoking is the best recognized and most accepted risk factor for Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and increases the risk of Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis by about twofold. Other environmental and occupation exposures such as exposure to metal dust, wood dust, coal dust, silica, stone dust, biologic dusts coming from hay dust or mold spores or other agricultural products, and occupations related to farming/livestock have also been shown to increase the risk for Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. There is some evidence that viral infections may be associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other fibrotic lung diseas

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