Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a prototype of chronic, progressive, and fibrotic lung disease. Healthy tissue is replaced by altered extracellular matrix and alveolar architecture is destroyed, which leads to decreased lung compliance, disrupted gas exchange, and ultimately respiratory failure and death. In less than a decade, understanding of the pathogenesis and management of this disease has been transformed, and two disease-modifying therapies have been approved, worldwide. In this Seminar, we summarise the presentation, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment options available for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This disease has improved understanding of the mechanisms of lung fibrosis, and offers hope that similar approaches will transform the management of patients with other progressive fibrotic lung diseases.
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