Glossary of key IPF Terms   

     

A

ACUTE EXACERBATION IN IPF

A sudden, severe worsening of dyspnoea with no identifiable cause. Acute exacerbations in IPF may significantly impact survival.

AETIOLOGY

The study of the causes of diseases or pathologies. Where no aetiology can be ascertained, the disorder is said to be idiopathic or unknown.

D

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

A systematic diagnostic approach used to rule out potential alternative diagnoses and to identify the presence of a specific disease or condition.

DRY COUGH

A sudden, nonproductive and often repetitive reflex which is a typical and burdensome symptom of IPF.

DYSPNOEA

Breathlessness or difficulty breathing. A typical and burdensome symptom of IPF.

E

EXTRAPULMONARY SYMPTOMS

Symptoms that occur outside of the lungs.

F

FINGER CLUBBING

A common symptom in IPF (and other heart or lung disorders) where the fingertips and fingernails spread out and become rounder, like “drumstick fingers” and “watch-glass nails”.

FORCED VITAL CAPACITY (FVC)

The volume of air that can be forcibly exhaled after full inspiration, measured in liters. FVC is a standard measure of pulmonary function in IPF, and FVC decline is an important predictor of mortality.

I

INCIDENCE

A measure of the risk of developing a given disease within a specified period of time.

IDIOPATHIC PULMONARY FIBROSIS (IPF)

A specific form of chronic, progressive fibrosing interstitial pneumonia of unknown cause; the most common entity within a group of idiopathic interstitial pneumonias.

P

PALLIATIVE CARE

Care aimed at reducing symptoms and providing comfort to patients. Palliative care is performed without the intention of curing disease.

PATHOGENESIS

The term describing the origin or the mechanism that causes a disease, from the Greek pathos ("disease") and genesis ("creation").

PREVALENCE

The proportion of a population found to have a specific disease at a given time.

Q

QUALITY OF LIFE (QoL)

Refers to an individual’s general sense of well-being. In medicine, health-related QoL takes into account emotional, social and physical aspects to determine how a disease may affect an individual’s feeling of well-being.

R

RARE DISEASE

A disease affecting only a small percentage of the population. A condition is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States according to the FDA. According to the EMA, a disease is considered rare if it affects fewer than 5 in 10,000 people across the European Union. For the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare a rare disease affects less than 50,000 patients in Japan.