Helped Over 500,000 patients with 98%+ satisfaction.

Connect & Get Personalized 1-to-1 Answers from Expert Doctors

DoctorSpring > Question Home

Pulmonary fibrosis

Resolved Question:

My 79 year old mother was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis 9 months ago. She chose not to have a lung biopsy. Until the diagnosis, she was an active and heathy woman with no other health issues except osteopenia. She was a smoker but quit 27 years ago. She is currently on 2 L O2 for all ADLs and when sleeping.
In the past 2 months I have seen her decline rapidly. She has a dry cough, little appetite, fatigue and elevated pulse. She uses her pulse oximeter and stays @ 95% but her heart pounds with activity. She has no edema in her legs/ankles.
I'm not asking you to look in a crystal ball, but based on this information and how rapidly the disease seems to be progressing, would you be able to give me a rough estimate of how much time she has left?
Thank you

Category: Pulmonologist

Ask Your Own Question

Category: Allergy and Immunologist
 22 Doctors Online


Thank you for your question at I understand your apprehension, and almost can feel the emotions that might be going through your mind, to see your mother in this condition.However, Pulmonary fibrosis is a vague term that can be caused by a myriad of things. Hence i am not sure about the clarity of the answers i am providing.

Was it mentioned as pulmonary fibrosis alone or as Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?
Was an echo done? What about a lung CT scan?
Was there any comment on Pulmonary hypertension in any reports?
How much can she walk on a straight ground with / without oxygen?
Is the sat of 95% with 2 litre oxygen or on room air? Does it remain so even after minimal exertion? If no, till how low does it fall?

The prognosis of the same can be anticipated if we have other reports such as Fev1, DLCO capacity etc.
History of smoking, old age and pulmonary fibrosis - altogether doesn't seem to be a good combination. They are prone for an acute exacerbation of symptoms at any time which will steepen the downward slope of graph.

The very best patient of this diagnosis(in early 60s, no comorbidities, normal echo report ) may have a 76% chance to survive 1 year and approximately 30 % chance to survive 3 years in the absence of exacerbation. However, at the other extreme, the chances remain as grim as 40% mortality in 1 year and almost 80% mortality in 3 years. The mortality however is affected by many factors such as depression, any exacerbation, pre-existing cardiac status, and age. And without the information i have asked, if i answer any thing, i fear it will be worse than a crystal ball! Kindly provide further details so that i may be able to help you out.

Dr.Jacob George P

Dr. Jacob George Pulinilkunnathil
Category: Allergy and Immunologist
Residency, Post Graduation: MD, Respiratory Medicine, J L N Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan (2012).
Medical School, Internship: MBBS, Government Medical College, Kottayam, 2001-07 
Indian Diploma in Critical Care Medicine (IDCCM) - Medical Trust Hospital, 2013-2014.
Dr. Jacob George Pulinilkunnathil and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

Users who read this, also read:

Make informed and better medical decisions.

Join the 500,000 people who found a smarter, quicker way to get Answers, Recommendations & Expert Opinions.

Expert Doctors at fingertips

Recommendation on next step. Second-opinion.Multi-specialty.

Save Time

Average time for answers: 6 hours.

Save Money

$35 for typical specialist consult vs. $120 for a local appointment.

Free Follow-ups

Clarify, ask further questions for free in private conversation.

100% Satisfaction

Money back guarantee for the 1st reply. MEDNET Quality Board.

Start My Consultation



Doctor Spring is a novel online Doctor consultation platform where you can get your medical questions answered by leading Doctors. Just Submit your question and rest assured that you will consult a Doctor easily. Once you submit the question, the Doctor from the concerned specialty will reply within hours. You can always ask more questions or add details with follow-up question options and make it an online doctor chat. You may use this service to consult a specialty or for getting medical second opinion. All paid services come with a MEDNET quality assurance and 100% money back guarantee.

DoctorSpring in news