| Discussion: |
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a general term for scarring (fibrosis) in the lung (pulmonary) and of an unknown cause (idiopathic). The term usually means that the scarring process is an active, ongoing process.
The cause of IPF is usually not known, which is reflected by the name "idiopathic" meaning "unknown". There are some known causes of pulmonary fibrosis such as certain type of medications, radiation treatment, and hazardous dust exposures. There are also several known general disorders associated with pulmonary fibrosis such as scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis.
In keeping with the recent consensus statement of the American Thoracic Society,1 the term usual interstitial pneumonia is used to refer to the morphologic pattern recognized by pathologists and radiologists, while idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis refers to the associated idiopathic clinical syndrome recognized by clinicians.
H: histiocytosis X
O: occupational disease (pneumoconiosis, farmer's lung)
C: collagen vascular disease
O: oh no