Interstitial Lung Disease (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is interstitial lung disease?
- What causes interstitial lung disease?
- What are the symptoms of interstitial lung disease?
- How is interstitial lung disease diagnosed?
- How is interstitial lung disease treated?
- Find a local Pulmonologist in your town
What are the symptoms of interstitial lung disease?
Decreased lung function is the result of the inflammation present in the supporting interstitial tissues, which leads to scarring and thickening. This is because the thickened and stiff tissues cannot breathe as effectively as healthy lung tissue. Symptoms, therefore, are related to the reduced efficiency of breathing and corresponding reduced levels of oxygen in the blood.
The symptoms depend to a certain extent upon the exact cause of the condition, but shortness of breath and a dry cough are the most common symptoms. In most cases, these symptoms develop gradually. Signs of chronically reduced oxygen levels in the blood include clubbing (a painless enlargement of the fingertips) and an enlarged heart.
Interstitial lung disease can lead to serious long-term complications. Pulmonary hypertension, a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries within the lungs, may develop. Ultimately, right-sided (the side of the heart that pumps blood back to the lungs to receive oxygen) heart failure may result (known as cor pulmonale). Respiratory failure is a potentially fatal long-term complication of interstitial lung disease.
Viewers share their comments
- Submit »
Find out what women really need.