[The role of pulmonary rehabilitation in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis]

Baruch Vainshelboim, Mordechai R Kramer
Harefuah 2012, 151 (4): 220-4, 253
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common interstitial lung disease (ILD) characterized by exertional dyspnea, hypoxemia and exercise intolerance. The pathophysiology of IPF usually presents restrictive physiology of lung volume and impaired gas exchange. Most of the research which supports the effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) comes from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients' studies. However, in the past few years growing evidence has emerged to support the effectiveness and safety of PR programs in IPF patients. Exercise training in PR programs was shown to increase exercise and functional capacity, decreasing shortness of breath and improving quality of life in IPF patients. Nevertheless, PR guidelines for IPF patients have not yet been established. This review presents the current existing data on the effectiveness of PR programs in IPF patients. Large and well controlled trials are needed for the establishment of clinical guidelines of PR in IPF patients.

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