Diagnosis and management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and Lung Foundation Australia position statements summary

Helen E Jo*, Jyotika D Prasad*, Lauren K Troy, Annabelle Mahar, Jane Bleasel, Samantha J Ellis, Daniel C Chambers, Anne E Holland, Fiona R Lake, Gregory Keir, Nicole S Goh, Margaret Wilsher, Sally de Boer, Yuben Moodley, Christopher Grainge, Helen M Whitford, Sally A Chapman, Paul N Reynolds, David Beatson**, Leonie J Jones, Peter Hopkins, Heather M Allan, Ian Glaspole*** and Tamera J Corte***
Med J Aust 2018; 208 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00799
Published online: 20 November 2017


Introduction: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fibrosing interstitial lung disease associated with debilitating symptoms of dyspnoea and cough, resulting in respiratory failure, impaired quality of life and ultimately death. Diagnosing IPF can be challenging, as it often shares many features with other interstitial lung diseases. In this article, we summarise recent joint position statements on the diagnosis and management of IPF from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and Lung Foundation Australia, specifically tailored for physicians across Australia and New Zealand.

Main suggestions:

  • A comprehensive multidisciplinary team meeting is suggested to establish a prompt and precise IPF diagnosis.
  • Antifibrotic therapies should be considered to slow disease progression. However, enthusiasm should be tempered by the lack of evidence in many IPF subgroups, particularly the broader disease severity spectrum.
  • Non-pharmacological interventions including pulmonary rehabilitation, supplemental oxygen, appropriate treatment of comorbidities and disease-related symptoms remain crucial to optimal management.
  • Despite recent advances, IPF remains a fatal disease and suitable patients should be referred for lung transplantation assessment.


  • Helen E Jo*1
  • Jyotika D Prasad*2,3
  • Lauren K Troy1
  • Annabelle Mahar1
  • Jane Bleasel4
  • Samantha J Ellis2
  • Daniel C Chambers5,6
  • Anne E Holland2,7
  • Fiona R Lake8
  • Gregory Keir9
  • Nicole S Goh10
  • Margaret Wilsher11,12
  • Sally de Boer13
  • Yuben Moodley8
  • Christopher Grainge14
  • Helen M Whitford2
  • Sally A Chapman15
  • Paul N Reynolds15
  • David Beatson**16
  • Leonie J Jones14
  • Peter Hopkins17
  • Heather M Allan18
  • Ian Glaspole***2,19
  • Tamera J Corte***1

  • 1 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
  • 4 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 5 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
  • 6 Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, QLD
  • 7 La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 8 University of Western Australia, Perth, WA
  • 9 Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD
  • 10 Austin Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 11 Auckland District Health Board, Auckland, NZ
  • 12 University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ
  • 13 Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, NZ
  • 14 John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW
  • 15 Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA
  • 16 Auckland, NZ
  • 17 Queensland Lung Transplant Service, Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, QLD
  • 18 Lung Foundation Australia, Brisbane, QLD
  • 19 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC


* Joint first authors

** Deceased

*** Joint senior authors


David Beatson was a well known New Zealand journalist, broadcaster and editor. Among his many roles, he served as Prime Minister’s chief press officer, and chair of NZ on Air. A thoughtful, erudite and engaging patient, David died from IPF on 21 September 2017. We acknowledge his important contribution as patient author on this article.

Competing interests:

For competing interest declarations, see online .


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