How accurate are radiographic findings in the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)?

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 radiographic findings are not correlated with the stage of the disease, the histology, the respiratory symptoms, the respiratory function tests, or the prognosis.

In the majority of patients with IPF, the chest radiograph is abnormal at presentation; previous radiographs often will have shown reticular shadowing, even before symptom development. [8] Chest radiography is frequently the first investigation employed for patients with IPF; physiologic testing and HRCT scanning follow.

For symptomatic patients in whom the diffusion capacity is abnormal, results of chest radiography may be normal. For other patients, the radiographic appearances are abnormal before clinical symptoms appear. Results of HRCT scanning are abnormal for most patients with IPF.


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