Is Pulmonary Fibrosis Genetic?

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Although most cases of pulmonary fibrosis are not genetic and often unknown when it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. However, there are rare cases where the condition runs in families suggesting a genetic link to the disease.

MORE: The relationship between pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension.

Researchers have isolated two genes that may be responsible for developing the condition: TERT and TERC. In around 15 percent of IPF cases, there are mutations in these two genes, although researchers have not yet established exactly why this happens.

In familial pulmonary fibrosis, one copy of the mutated gene in each cell could be enough for the condition to develop, but not everyone who has the mutated cell goes on to develop the disease, meaning that it is a sporadically inherited disease.

The disease does not necessarily pass down from one generation to the next, in some cases of genetic IPF there are no known cases of it within the family. Read more about genetic pulmonary fibrosis here.

MORE: One family’s battle with pulmonary fibrosis.

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