How is IPF diagnosed?

Q. How to identify IPF?

Answered by
Dr. Srivastava, Sumit
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 19, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jun 16, 2023

Hello doctor,

I was diagnosed with IPF last week. My two x-rays, two lung function tests and HRCT scan showing that I had scarring. But I am confused, because I feel better than I have felt in 10 years. I have always smoked and had cough for years. I have been on a diet and have lost one stone so far. I have been doing some tests at home such as at rest I can hold breath for 1 minute 25 seconds with relative ease. Breaths per minute sitting at rest are 15 and my blood oxygen levels at rest are between 95 to 99 percent. Running up and down stairs three times my blood oxygen levels drop to around 91 to 92 percent and it rises to 95 to 96 percent in less than a minute. When I wake up in the morning my blood oxygen levels have been around 86 percent rising to 92 to 94 percent in around two to three minutes. The other thing is that when I had my second lung function test five months ago I was at the end of a cold or flu. I did mention this to the consultant. Do you think I could have been misdiagnosed? Is it worth me asking for a second opinion? Please guide.



Welcome to

IPF (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) is a chronic, progressive and idiopathic disease. It is usually seen in old age. In this lungs become fibrosed, thickened and stiff. So, all capacities are reduced and due to this oxygenation is hampered. Your home tests are within normal limits, but they do not exclude IPF which is diagnosed based on HRCT (high-resolution computed tomography) and other relevant tests. Cold or flu will not lead to scarring of lung tissue. Definitive diagnosis of IPF is made only after biopsy. The main stay of treatment for IPF is intravenous or oral steroid for a period of six weeks that may be overlapped with Cyclophosphamide. Thank you and take care. Regards

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