Kenn, K.; Gloeckl, R.; Behr, Jürgen
Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis - A Review.
In: Respiration, No. 2: pp. 89-99
Among the various types of interstitial lung diseases, idiopathicpulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common disorder and has a poorprognosis and a limited response to pharmacological treatment. Inpatients with IPF, functional exercise tolerance and quality of lifehave been shown to be significantly decreased. Current IPF guidelinessuggest only a weak recommendation for pulmonary rehabilitation (PR).However, PR is regarded as a reasonable choice for the majority ofpatients with IPF. This review will summarize all of the availablestudies that have investigated the effects of PR in patients with IPF sofar. Although only a small number of studies have been published todate, most studies have found significant short-term improvements infunctional exercise capacity, quality of life, and level of perceiveddyspnea. Long-term improvements or maintenance strategies of PR in IPFpatients have not been adequately investigated yet. Up to now there isstill no sufficient evidence for the recommendation of PR in IPF.However, physical training seems to be the major component of all PRprograms. The current review will discuss potential exercise trainingregimens for patients with IPF and suggest additional useful modalitiesof a specific multidisciplinary PR program for IPF patients. Based onthe current literature and our own experience, this article will try tohighlight the importance of PR as an additional, beneficial therapeuticoption for patients with IPF.