How is the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) confirmed?

Updated: Aug 06, 2018
  • Author: Ali Nawaz Khan, MBBS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCR; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The diagnosis is confirmed with a lung biopsy, but the histology shows striking variation from one region to the next (ie, the disease is characterized by histologic temporal and spatial heterogeneity). It is not unusual to find areas of normal lung next to areas with severe thickening of alveolar walls. Therefore, findings on bronchoscopic or percutaneous lung biopsy are difficult to interpret. Open lung biopsy and video-assisted thoracoscopic lung biopsy are the preferred methods.


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