Breathing pattern and breathlessness in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: An observational study

K Olukogbon, Paul Thomas, Ricardo Caolasanti, Ben Hope-Gill, Edgar Williams

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background and objective: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is characterized by progressive decline in lung function and increasing dyspnoea. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship among IPF, pulmonary function, resting tidal breathing patterns and level of breathlessness. Methods: Thirty-one participants with IPF and 17 matched healthy controls underwent lung function testing, followed by a 2-min period of resting tidal breathing. The IPF cohort was stratified according to disease severity, based on their forced vital capacity and diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide. Results: In comparison to the healthy controls, the IPF cohort showed a higher tidal volume, VT, of 0.22 L (P = 0.026) and a raised minute ventilation in the severest IPF group, while no differences in the timing of inspiration or expiration were observed. In the IPF cohort, the ratio of VT to forced vital capacity was around 15% higher. These changes corresponded with an increase in the self-reported sensation of breathlessness.
    Conclusion: Those with IPF increased their depth of breathing with worsening disease severity, with IPF induced changes in pulmonary function and breathlessness associated with an altered tidal breathing pattern.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)344-349
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2015


    • breathing pattern
    • cough
    • diffusion capacity
    • dyspnoea
    • flow–volume loop


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