What Is Pulmonary Fibrosis?
According to the National Institutes for Health (NIH), PF affects 200,000 Americans. PF is a condition in which the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred. The development of the scar tissue is called fibrosis. As lung tissue becomes scarred and thicker, it loses its ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. As a result, the brain and other organs don’t get the oxygen they need. In some cases, doctors can determine the cause of the fibrosis, but in most cases, there is no known cause. When there is no known cause for the fibrosis the disease is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or IPF.
- National Institutes of Health web page (www.nhlbi.nih.gov), 2010
- Coultas DB, Zumault RE, Black W, Sobonya RE. The epidemiology of interstitial lung diseases. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994; 150:967-72.
- Ganesh Raghu, M.D., Derek Weycker, Ph.D., John Edelsberg, M.D., M.P.H., Williamson Z. Bradford, M.D., Ph.D., Gerry Oster, Ph.D.; Incidence and Prevalence of IdiopathicPulmonary Fibrosis; AJRCCM: doi:10.1164/rccm.200602-163OC. Published June 29, 2006: (Utilization data revised to NIH estimated prevalence of 128,000/200,000 prevalance &annual cost of 33734 per patient using broad definition.)
- American Thoracic Society. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: diagnosis and treatment (international consensus statement). Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000;161:646-664.
- Brett Ley, MD, Harold Collard, MD, Talmadge E. King, MD; Clinical Course and Prediction of Survival in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis; AJRCCM Articles in Press. Published on October 8, 2010 as doi:10.1164/rccm.201006-0894CI
- American Lung Association Lung Disease Report, c. 2008