Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic and usually progressive lung disorder of unknown etiology. A growing body of evidence suggests that, in contrast to other interstitial lung diseases, IPF is a distinct entity in which inflammation is a secondary and non-relevant pathogenic partner. Evidence includes the presence of similar mild/moderate inflammation either in early or late disease, and the lack of response to potent anti-inflammatory therapy. Additionally, it is clear from experimental models and some human diseases that it is possible to have fibrosis without inflammation. An evolving hypothesis proposes that IPF may result from epithelial micro-injuries and abnormal wound healing.