George Schiffman, MD, FCCP
Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- Pulmonary fibrosis definition and facts
- What is pulmonary fibrosis?
- What is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?
- What causes pulmonary fibrosis?
- What are signs and symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis?
- What are the signs and symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?
- What are the stages of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?
- Which specialties of doctors treat pulmonary fibrosis?
- How is pulmonary fibrosis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for pulmonary fibrosis?
- What about pulmonary rehabilitation for pulmonary fibrosis?
- What are the complications of pulmonary fibrosis?
- Can pulmonary fibrosis be prevented?
- What is the prognosis and life expectancy for a person with pulmonary fibrosis?
- Where can I get information to improve the quality of life for those with pulmonary fibrosis?
- Find a local Pulmonologist in your town
Pulmonary fibrosis definition and facts
- Pulmonary fibrosis refers to scarring of the lung tissue (fibrosis of the lungs).
- Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include:
- The most common type of pulmonary fibrosis is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; its cause is not understood.
- A number of different medical conditions can also cause pulmonary fibrosis.
- Causes of pulmonary fibrosis can
- Environmental toxins
- Medications, chronic inflammation
- Treatment options for pulmonary fibrosis are limited as the disease is progressive (worsening over time).
- The prognosis (outlook) is poor for pulmonary fibrosis. The survival (life expectancy) for most patients is less than 5 years.
What is pulmonary fibrosis?
"Fibrosis" is a term used to refer to scarring, so pulmonary fibrosis means scarring throughout the lungs.
What is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?
The definition of "idiopathic" is "of unknown cause;" thus idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is fibrosis (scarring) of the lungs without a known cause.
IPF mostly affects middle-aged and older adults, and there is no cure. The progress of the disease varies from person to person, but often people diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis live about three to five years following their diagnosis.
While the cause of IPF is unknown, it is thought that genetics may be a factor. When more than one member of a family has IPF, the disease is referred to as familial idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
What causes pulmonary fibrosis?
Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by many conditions including:
- Chronic inflammatory processes (sarcoidosis, Wegener's granulomatosis)
- Environmental agents (asbestos, silica, exposure to certain gases)
- Exposure to ionizing radiation (such as radiation therapy to treat tumors of the chest)
- Chronic conditions (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Certain medications
In a condition known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, fibrosis of the lung can develop following a heightened immune reaction to inhaled organic dusts or occupational chemicals. This condition most often results from inhaling dust contaminated with bacterial, fungal, or animal products.
In some people, chronic pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis develop without an identifiable cause. Most of these people have a condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) that does not respond to medical therapy, while some of the other types of fibrosis, such as nonspecific interstitial pneumonitis (NSIP), may respond to immune suppressive therapy.
Synonyms (other names) for various types of pulmonary fibrosis that have been used in the past include chronic interstitial pneumonitis, Hamman-Rich syndrome, and diffuse fibrosing alveolitis.
Find out what women really need.