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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: Clinical features and diagnosis

Oxygen mask

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is one of a large group of conditions, collectively referred to as interstitial lung diseases, that are similar in clinical and radiological presentation. Although the cause of IPF is unknown, several risk factors — such as environmental exposure to harmful substances and viral infection — have been suggested.

Diagnosis and staging of IPF are complex and involve pulmonary function assessment, high resolution computed tomography chest scans, clinical examination and exclusion of other similar conditions. For some patients, surgical biopsy may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis of IPF.

Lloyd Mayers is a respiratory pharmacist at North Bristol NHS Trust and Patricia Ging is transplant and pulmonary hypertension pharmacist at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.

E: lloyd.mayers@nbt.nhs.uk 

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2013.11127258

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