Types of Fibrosis

The term fibrosis refers to the formation of fibrous tissue that may or may not be associated with tissue healing.

Some of the different types of fibrosis include the following:

Lung fibrosis or pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis may occur as a result of long standing infections such as tuberculosis or pneumonia. The condition can also be caused by exposure to occupational hazards such as coal dust or the genetic condition cystic fibrosis.

Liver fibrosis

Cirrhosis refers to the scar tissue and nodules that replace liver tissue and disrupt liver function. The condition is usually caused by alcoholism, fatty liver disease, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

Heart fibrosis

Areas of the heart that have become damaged due to myocardial infarction may undergo fibrosis.

Mediastinal fibrosis

This form of fibrosis is characterized by calcified fibrosis of the lymph nodes, which can block respiratory channels and blood vessels.

Retroperitoneal cavity fibrosis

This refers to fibrosis of the soft tissue in the retroperitoneum, which contains the aorta, kidneys and numerous other structures.

Bone marrow fibrosis

Myelofibrosis is scarring in the bone marrow that prevents the normal production of blood cells in the bone marrow.

Skin fibrosis

Scar tissue that forms on the skin in response to injury is referred to as a keloid.

Scleroderma or systemic sclerosis

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue that primarily affects the skin but can also involve other organs such as the kidneys, heart and lungs.

Fibrosis effects

Some examples of the effects fibrosis can have on the body are given below:

  • Fibrosis of the joints may lead to stiffness and pain in the knees, wrists and hips
  • Fibrosis of the tendons may lead to conditions such as Dupuytren's contracture, which can cause deformity of the hands and fingers
  • The shoulder capsule may be affected leading to adhesive capsulitis and frozen shoulder
  • Fibrosis that involves the soft tissue of the penis is referred to as Peyronie's disease
Type Most common location(s) Circumscription Cellularity Vascularity and nature of vessels Appearance of collagen Elastic fibers
Nuchal fibroma Nuchal region No Very low Very low Bundles of fibers Scant
Collagenous fibroma Shoulder girdle, extremities Yes, by macroscopic appearance, but microscopically infiltrative Increased but generally low Low Scant or absent Amorphous
Fibroma of tendon sheath Distal extremities, especially the hand Yes Low to high Moderate to high, with some slitlike vessels Amorphous Absent
Scar Variable Variable Low to high Variable Amorphous Scant to absent
Elastofibroma Subscapular chest wall No Low to moderate Low Amorphous Abundant and abnormal
Desmoid-type fibromatosis Abdominal wall, shoulder girdle Yes, by macroscopic appearance, but microscopically infiltrative Moderate Moderate, mildly dilated Amorphous Absent
Keloid Upper part of back, deltoid, presternal, ear lobes No Some fibroblasts Low Amorphous thick eosinophilic bundles Scant or Absent

Further Reading

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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