Diffuse parenchymal lung disease; Alveolitis; Cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis (CFA); Idiopathic pulmonary pneumonitis (IPP)
Diffuse interstitial lung disease refers to a group of lung disorders in which the deep lung tissues become inflamed.
The lungs contain tiny air sacs (alveoli), which is where oxygen is absorbed. These air sacs open up or expand with each breath.
The tissue around these air sacs is called the interstitium. In people with interstitial lung disease, this tissue becomes stiff or scarred, and the air sacs are not able to expand as much. As a result, not as much oxygen can get into your lungs, and therefore to your body.
Interstitial lung diseases can be broken down into two large groups:
There are several types of idiopathic ILD. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common type. Less common types include:
There are dozens of different causes of ILD.
Cigarette smoking may increase the risk of developing some forms of ILD and may cause the disease to be more severe.
Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2008.
American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society International Multidisciplinary Consensus. Classification of the Idiopathic Interstitial Pneumonias. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002;165:277-304.
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