St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
News Releases
About Us
Locations & Directions
Download Our Logo - ZIP
Download Photos - ZIP
Baby Bunting Photo Gallery
Release of Patient Information under HIPAA - PDF
St. Luke's Hospital in the News
News Media Contact
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment

In The News

Dr. Neil Ettinger, St. Luke's Hospital

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in women on the rise

You may have never heard of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, but about 40,000 people in the U.S. die from it each year. And while more men are diagnosed with it, IPF in women is on the rise.

IPF is a disease that results in fibrosis, or scarring, of the lungs. The scarring that happens in people with IPF is harmful because it thickens the air sacs of the lungs and causes a loss of the tissue's ability to transport oxygen, which makes breathing difficult.

The primary symptoms of IPF include shortness of breath and a dry cough. When physicians examine the lungs of people with IPF using a stethoscope, they usually hear a crackling sound in the bottom part of the lungs. A team approach to diagnosis, involving radiologists, pathologists and pulmonologists, is utilized in order to ensure a patient is not suffering from another condition.

Unfortunately, IPF is often fatal within a few years of diagnosis. There is no known cause for IPF, hence the term "idiopathic," which means "of unknown cause."

Scientists think IPF may be the result of the body's overreaction to healing what would otherwise seem to be an ordinary injury to the lung. Damage to lung tissue from a respiratory virus, for example, might provoke a healing response that continues in an unregulated manner.

Why is IPF in women on the rise? The reasons may include that experts are getting better at detecting the disease. They are also getting a better understanding of the role genes play in IPF. Sometimes, members of the same family develop IPF, which indicates a genetic component to the disease.

There is no proven treatment for IPF other than lung transplantation. Many drugs tested have failed to demonstrate a benefit. Pirfenidone, a drug that failed to show a clear benefit in a large clinical trial, did show some promise and will be tested again. Another drug, BIBF, has shown considerable promise in a recent trial. Another trial testing BIBF will start soon. Trials of other drugs are also underway to find effective treatments for IPF.

Dr. Neil Ettinger is a pulmonologist at St. Luke's Hospital. To participate in a clinical trial for the treatment of IPF, call 314-439-LUNG (5864) or visit the CardioPulmonary Research Center page.

This article was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on December 1, 2011.

Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
History
Mission
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs
Assessment

Newsroom
Services
Brain & Spine
Cancer
Heart
Maternity
Orthopedics
Pulmonary
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
mystlukes
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Health Risk Assessments
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Volunteer
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
Careers
Careers
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile