Complications of pulmonary fibrosis may include:

  • High blood pressure in your lungs (pulmonary hypertension). Unlike systemic high blood pressure, this condition affects only the arteries in your lungs. It begins when the smallest arteries and capillaries are compressed by scar tissue, causing increased resistance to blood flow in your lungs. This in turn raises pressure within the pulmonary arteries and the right ventricle. Pulmonary hypertension is a serious illness that becomes progressively worse and may eventually prove fatal.
  • Right-sided heart failure (cor pulmonale). This serious condition occurs when your heart's lower right chamber (ventricle) has to pump harder than usual to move blood through partially blocked pulmonary arteries.
  • Respiratory failure. This is often the last stage of chronic lung disease. It occurs when blood oxygen levels fall dangerously low. Because your lungs are so stiff, like an old dried sponge, it is harder to breathe and that adds to your fatigue and loss of appetite.
  • Lung cancer. Long-standing pulmonary fibrosis also increases your risk of developing lung cancer.
Mar. 18, 2014