Symptoms and diagnosis

In this Learning Zone section, learn about the key symptoms which suggest idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and how to achieve an accurate diagnosis. Try the useful diagnostic algorithm and consider the prognosis for patients with IPF.

Symptoms and referral

The detection of bibasilar inspiratory (Velcro-like) crackles during chest auscultation is an important symptom of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Learn more.


Diagnosis is completed by excluding all known causes of fibrosing interstitial lung disease and detection of a usual interstitial pneumonia pattern via high-resolution computed tomography or histopathology.

Diagnostic algorithm

Discover a useful diagnostic algorithm recommended by international guidelines.


The natural history of IPF is highly variable making the disease course in an individual patient difficult to predict.


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