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Suspect Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment

The symptoms of IPF, dyspnoea upon exertion and a dry cough, are commonly mistaken for aging, cardiac disease, emphysema, bronchitis, asthma or COPD.1 Such misdiagnosis, or ignoring the early symptoms entirely, may explain why IPF is rarely diagnosed immediately. Often a correct diagnosis may take several months or even years.2

It is of crucial importance to distinguish IPF from the other forms of interstitial pneumonia due to differences in prognosis3 and treatment responses.4

Velcro crackles - Evidence 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.5

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

HRCT scans in IPF

The key to diagnosing idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a high-resolution computed-tomography (HRCT) scan. If the HRCT scan shows a usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern and alternative causes of interstitial lung disease (ILD) can be ruled out, a diagnosis of IPF is indicated.6

However, the correct interpretation of lung HRCT results can be difficult, especially if you are not an ILD expert.

For this reason, Boehringer Ingelheim has developed Images of ILD, a tool designed especially for pulmonologists who want to learn more about lung HRCT patterns. A variety of authentic patient cases provide insights into the specific patterns associated with different types of ILDs.

No patient is the same - Real world examples

case 1case 2

On this website, a comprehensive library of patient cases is offered. The cases are taken from real clinical experience and lead you through the complete history of the case including the necessary examinations, diagnosis and treatment of the patients. The included questions allow you to put yourself in the position of the treating physician and compare your answers with the decisions that were taken in the situation presented.

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Patient with IPF and preserved lung function

Patient with IPF and no honeycombing on HRCT

  1. Collard HR., et al. Patient experiences with pulmonary fibrosis. Respir Med 2007;101:1350–1354.
  2. Meltzer EB., et al. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Orphanet J Rare Dis 2008;3:8.
  3. Flaherty KR., et al. Clinical significance of histological classification of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia. Eur Respir J 2002;19:275–283.
  4. Kim DS., et al. Classification and natural history of the idiopathic interstitial pneumonias. Proc Am Thorac Soc 2006;3:285–292.
  5. Cottin V., et al. Velcro crackles: the key for early diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis? Eur Respir J 2012;40:519–521.
  6. Raghu G., et al. An official ATS/ERS/JRS/ALAT statement: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis and management. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011;183:788–824.