Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition that causes lung scarring and stiffness. It develops when the alveoli, tiny air sacs that transfer oxygen to the blood, become damaged and inflamed. Body tries to heal the damage with scars, but these scars collapse the alveoli and make the lungs less elastic. Changes in the lungs can also increase the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery. This condition, called pulmonary hypertension, makes the heart work harder and it may fail.
Signs and symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include Shortness of breath (dyspnea), A dry cough, Fatigue, Unexplained weight loss, Aching muscles and joints. Statistical analysis on pulmonary fibrosis in United States resulted as out of 4,598 patients using the sensitive algorithm and 2,052 patients using the specific algorithm. After medical record review, the positive predictive values of these algorithms using the treating clinician's diagnosis were 44.4% and 61.7%.
For the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis score, the positive predictive value was 76.2%. Using the clinical adjudicator's diagnosis, the positive predictive values were 54% and 57.6%, and for the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis score, 83.3%. The incidence and period prevalence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, corrected for positive predictive value, were 14.6 per 100,000 person-years and 58.7 per 100,000 persons.