Diagnostic Evaluation of the Patient With Interstitial Lung Disease

Clinical Pulmonary Medicine, 03/02/2012

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a broad category of diseases that cause inflammation and/or fibrosis of the lungs. These disorders can be idiopathic, familial, associated with an underlying systemic disease, or related to an environmental exposure or medication. Recent work has refined the categorization of ILDs and set forth specific criteria for diagnosis for at least some of the disorders. Correct diagnosis is essential, as it provides information for the clinician and patient about progression and survival. However, because of the heterogeneity of diseases, diagnosis can be complicated, requiring specialized expertise when available.

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