Pulmonary fibrosis is one of nearly 200 chronic lung conditions that are characterized by inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue, which progressively cause breathing difficulties because the lungs are unable to expand and contract normally. The most common form of the disease is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

All forms of pulmonary fibrosis are progressive and life-threatening, and the prognosis is poor with a median survival of 2.5 to 3.5 years after diagnosis. Respiratory failure is the most common cause of death in pulmonary fibrosis patients but early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve survival. 

Factors affecting prognosis

Three main factors that affect the prognosis of pulmonary fibrosis are: 

  • Early diagnosis: The severity of pulmonary fibrosis at diagnosis is directly correlated with survival rates. Early diagnosis is associated with better survival.
  • Proper treatment: While anti-fibrotic treatments may not cure the disease, they can significantly slow its progression and hence improve prognosis.
  • Rate of lung function decline: The progression of pulmonary fibrosis is not constant. In some patients, the disease may progress slowly and then suddenly accelerate and result in respiratory failure. Therefore, disease progression needs to be monitored constantly, which can improve prognosis. 

Clinical factors that adversely affect prognosis 

Clinical factors associated with poor prognosis are:

 

Last updated: Oct. 6, 2019

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 Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
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