Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Overview
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease marked by progressive scarring of the lungs. The disease is called idiopathic because there is currently no known cause for IPF.
Fibrosis, or scar tissue, develops and prevents the lungs from working normally. This gradually interferes with a person’s ability to breathe and function.
IPF belongs to a family of more than 100 related diseases, called interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), which often have similar characteristics and can result in lung scarring.
Symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
IPF, as with other interstitial lung diseases, affects each person differently and at different rates.
- Typical early symptoms of IPF include shortness of breath during periods of activity and a dry cough.
- Other possible symptoms include weight loss and fatigue.
- With later-stage IPF, enlargement or clubbing of the fingertips may develop.
- As the disease progresses, shortness of breath may occur at rest, making even normal activities — such as walking, taking on the phone, and eating — difficult.
The University of Pittsburgh Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at UPMC, was created in 2001 because of a generous gift from the Simmons family. The center is dedicated to providing the highest quality of health care, education, and support for people with interstitial lung diseases and their caregivers and loved ones.