Acute exacerbation: An episode of rapid decline or the emergence of symptoms.

Alveoli: Tiny air sacs in the lungs where carbon dioxide leaves the bloodstream and oxygen enters the bloodstream.

Bronchoscope: A tool used for inspecting the inside of the lungs.

Comorbidity: A disease or other issue that occurs simultaneously with PF.

Diffuse parencyhmal lung diseases (DPLD): Another name for interstitial lung diseases.

Diffusion capacity (DLCO): A measure of the ability of oxygen to diffuse into the bloodstream.

Dyspnea: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

Fibroproliferation: Of or relating to the growth of fibroblasts, one of the basic connective tissue cells.

Fibrosis: An increase in fibrous scar tissue.

Forced expiratory volume (FEV1): The amount of air you can blow out in one second. Measured by spirometry.

Forced vital capacity (FVC): How much air you can blow out of your lungs. Measured by spirometry.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): A regurgitation of stomach acids into the esophagus and throat, causing heartburn, acid indigestion, and possibly injury to the lining of the esophagus. Also called acid reflux disease.

Hospice care: Palliative care for patients at end-of-life.

Idiopathic: Of unknown cause.

Idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIP): A type of interstitial lung disease. IPF is a type of IIP.

Interstitial lung diseases (ILD): A broad category of over 200 lung diseases that affect the lung interstitium.

Interstitium: The space around the alveoli.

Palliative care: Non-curative therapy that treats symptoms and focuses on improving quality of life. It can be received at the same time as curative therapy.

Pathologist: A physician specializing in disease-associated changes in tissue and organs. Pathologists aid in medical diagnosis.

Pulmonary: Relating to the lungs.

Pulmonary hypertension: Abnormal high blood pressure in the lung arteries.

Pulmonologist: A physician specializing in the lungs.

Radiologist: A physician specializing in using radiology tests(e.g., X-rays) to diagnose illness.

Rheumatologist: A physician specializing in rheumatic diseases, which may include arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and joint diseases.

Spirometry: A test that measures the amount of air inhaled and exhaled over time.

Usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP): A specific abnormal radiologic or pathologic pattern.

Updated April 2013
This information has been approved by Gregory P. Cosgrove, MD (September 2012)