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Test may improve diagnosis of lung conditions

Misdiagnosis can be a serious concern for people in New Jersey with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. One company has announced that it is expanding an early access to a genetic test for the disorder, and it expects to make the test available across the country in 2019. By comparing genomic patterns from patients, the test allows physicians to differentiate between cases of IPF and other lung disorders.

In many cases, doctors may struggle to correctly diagnose this type of pulmonary fibrosis. Even advanced imaging technologies can lead to confusion, especially when it comes to determining the specific type of lung problem a patient is experiencing. However, in order for patients to receive proper care, a correct diagnosis is essential. There are several options that are available to help people with IPF, but it is important to determine the problem with the patient first. Indeed, over half of all patients with these types of lung disorders are at least initially misdiagnosed. Antifibrotic therapies can be used to slow the progression of the disease but only once an IPF diagnosis is confirmed.

Treatment can be invasive and costly, with significant side effects. When those treatments are applied due to a misdiagnosis, they can be even more damaging. One out of every five patients with IPF has been prescribed systemic cortisol, even though international guidelines discourage this use because of harmful side effects linked to IPF. However, the new test has a high level of specificity and sensitivity that allows specialists to diagnose patients more easily.

When patients are misdiagnosed, the consequences may be severe. People may experience a worsened health condition due to side effects from an incorrect treatment or because of a lack of treatment. A medical malpractice attorney might be able to review a case and provide guidance for seeking compensation.