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Early diagnosis in IPF

Early IPF diagnosis remains a challenge and often patients receive the right diagnosis months or years from first symptoms. For example, a cohort study showed that patients were referred to IPF specialised clinics on average 2.2 years after first symptoms. Delay in diagnosis and proper treatment results in higher risk of death independent of the severity of the disease.1

Sounds of IPF

The majority of IPF patients present with typical dry, bibasilar inspiratory velcro crackles on auscultation. Currently the assessment of fine crackles is the only practical tool in early IPF diagnosis.2

For this reason, Boehringer Ingelheim has created the IPF Sound Challenge. This application allows you to playfully practice identifying various respiratory conditions, including IPF.

Furthermore, you can use the website’s sound library to practice. The sound library offers audios of IPF velcro-type crackles as well as sounds from other lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and healthy lungs.

  1. Lamas DJ, et al. Delayed access and survival in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: a cohort study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011;184:842–847.
  2. Cottin V, et al. Velcro crackles: the key for early diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis? Eur Respir J 2012;40:519–521.