Comorbidities, Complications and Non-Pharmacologic Treatment in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Paloma Millan-Billi, Candela Serra, Ana Alonso Leon, Diego Castillo
Medical Sciences: Open Access Journal 2018 July 24, 6 (3)
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive and fatal disease. The treatment is challenging and nowadays a comprehensive approach based not only in pharmacological strategies is necessary. Identification and control of comorbidities, non-pharmacological treatment, prevention and management of exacerbations as well as other areas of care (social, psychological) are fundamental for a holistic management of IPF. Gastroesophageal reflux, pulmonary hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, combined with emphysema, lung cancer and cardiovascular involvement are the main comorbidities associated with IPF. Non-pharmacological treatment includes the use of oxygen in patients with rest or nocturnal hypoxemia and other support therapies such as non-invasive ventilation or even a high-flow nasal cannula to improve dyspnea. In some patients, lung transplant should be considered as this enhances survival. Pulmonary rehabilitation can add benefits in outcomes such control of dyspnea, exercise capacity distance and, overall, improve the quality of life; therefore it should be considered in patients with IPF. Also, multidisciplinary palliative care programs could help with symptom control and psychological support, with the aim of maintaining quality of life during the whole process of the disease. This review intends to provide clear information to help those involved in IPF follow up to improve patients' daily care.

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