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
How is interstitial lung disease diagnosed?
Interstitial lung disease cannot be diagnosed simply on the basis of a medical history and physical examination. In most cases, a number of diagnostic tests must be used. The symptoms of interstitial lung disease overlap with those of many other conditions, including cardiovascular diseases.
- Blood tests may help provide direction in the initial
stage of diagnosis
and rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms.
Measurement of the
oxygen level in the arterial blood may also be performed.
- Imaging studies, such as chest X-rays and
CT scans are often the first
diagnostic step and may also help rule out other conditions that may cause
- Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are noninvasive tests that measure the
function of the lungs. The test involves blowing into a tube that is part of an
instrument called a spirometer. This can measure the volume of the lungs as well
as the air flow into and out of the lungs.
- Biopsies or washings may be taken of the lungs and airways during bronchoscopy (examination of the airways with a viewing tube). The removed tissue samples are then examined by a pathologist to establish the diagnosis. In certain cases, open surgical biopsy of the lung may be required to obtain an adequate tissue sample for diagnosis.
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