Practical management of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Sarcoidosis Vasc Diffuse Lung Dis. 2015 Jul 22;32(2):90-8.


Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is relentless progressive interstitial lung disease (ILD) of unknown etiology. Main pathogenesis is aberrant recovery of epithelial injury and collagen deposition. Majority of IPF patients have been elderly men with smokers. However, there are important differential diagnosis such as fibrotic non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP), Connective Tissue Disease (CTD) associated ILD, chronic hypersensitivity pneumonia (CHP). Clinical point of view, non-productive cough and progressive exertional dyspnea are main symptoms. In addition, scalene muscle hypertrophy, fine crackles and finger clubbing are key findings. Serum marker such as lactate deydrogenase (LDH), Krebs von den Lungeng-6 (KL-6) are sensitive for ILD detection and activity. Pulmonary function test and 6 minute walk test (6MWT) are quite meaningful physiological examination. Serial change of forced vital capacity 6MWT distance predict mortality of IPF. International IPF guideline published recently and highlighted on the importance of high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings. Key findings of IPF are honeycombing, traction bronchiectasis and subpleural reticular opacity. IPF is chronic progressive disease. Therefore, tracing disease behavior is crucial and unifying clinical, physiological, imaging information over time provide useful information for physicians.In management, many candidate agent failed to have positive result. Pirfenidone which is anti-fibrotic agent showed to slow the decline of vital capacity and prevent of acute exacerbation. Molecular agent such as nintedanib is promising agent for prevention of progression of IPF. In this review, we review the clinical information of IPF and IPF guideline. Lastly, we show the clinical algorithm of this devastated disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Disease Management
  • Disease Progression
  • Exercise Test / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnosis*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Indoles / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vital Capacity


  • Indoles
  • nintedanib