[Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: new diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives]

R Alvarez-Sala, C Prados, F R Garciá, T C Lázaro, J L García-Satúe, J M Pino, J Villamor
Anales de Medicina Interna: Organo Oficial de la Sociedad Española de Medicina Interna 1993, 10 (7): 355-60
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease of unknown etiology affecting alveolo-interstitial structures. It is clinically characterized by progressive dyspnea and dry cough. In the physical exploration, crakles at the pulmonary bases and acropachies are usually detected. Its diagnosis has been a major clinical problem. Currently, a definitive diagnosis can be established with high resolution computerized axial tomography, bronchoalveolar lavage and open pulmonary biopsy. The next clinical problem is the assessment of activity, since it allows to differentiate subsidiary patients for receiving treatment. The description of new therapeutical alternatives has brought new perspectives in the management of these patients. Corticotherapy associated to immunosuppressors has allowed to reduce side effects and to obtain dramatic improvements. Lung transplantation, currently under study, will be the therapy of the future.

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