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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Stages of pulmonary fibrosis

12/18/2007

Question:

What are the stages of pulmonary fibrosis? I was diagnosed two years ago with the cause being rheumatoid arthritis. I would really like to know where I stand in the battle.

Answer:

Different types of interstitial lung disease progress at different speeds. Pulmonary fibrosis from rheumatoid arthritis tends to progress slower than "idiopathic" pulmonary fibrosis. Progression is defined by the pulmonary function tests and the oxygen level. A more advanced stage is generally defined when the diffusing capacity drops below about 35% of normal, the vital capacity below about 50% of normal, or the oxygen level less than 90% during a 6 minute walk test.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University