Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

In medical terminology, interstitium refers to the space between cells in a tissue. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is the term used to describe a diverse group of disorders found in the tissue between the air sacs of the lungs that lead to fibrosis, or scarring of the interstitium tissue. Scarring or inflammation of the interstitium makes it difficult for the lungs to receive oxygen. Typically, interstitial lung disease begins with a cough or shortness of breath, and leads to more serious symptoms. The broad range of disorders can be associated with a systemic illness or arise from an unknown cause.

A Team of Doctors Who Specialize in Lung Disease, Focused on You

The University of Michigan Interstitial Lung Disease Program leads the field in accurate diagnostic methods, active scientific research and extensive clinical trials. The multidisciplinary team brings together specialists from pulmonology, rheumatology, cardiology, radiology and pathology. Interstitial Lung Disease Program patients can expect to be guided through the process of meeting the specialists with expertise in their specific disorder, with appointments completed in as short a time as one day. All physicians from the program meet on a bi-weekly basis to discuss each patient case related to interstitial lung disease, beginning by addressing diagnosis.

Interstitial lung disease is often difficult to diagnose, requiring a range of tests and approaches. There are more than 100 diseases characterized as ILD, so an accurate diagnosis is vital to offering further information and treatment options. The University of Michigan Interstitial Lung Disease Program team ensures accurate diagnosis by bringing specialists into close collaboration from the earliest stages of patient care. The University of Michigan has tracked and tested their diagnostic methods, publishing results that set a standard of multidisciplinary approach for interstitial lung disease diagnosis nationwide. Physicians from the program are also members of an international task force that are rewriting guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of interstitial pulmonary fibrosis.

Access to the Latest Innovations in ILD Treatment

The path that interstitial lung disease takes can be extremely variable, and treatments are still being developed to make the greatest impact in patients’ lives. The University of Michigan participates in one of the largest numbers of clinical trials related to ILD in the nation. Regular meetings of the Interstitial Lung Disease Program physicians allows for the rapid adjustments that can be necessary in patient care. Whenever possible, the program actively coordinates with a patient’s home-based physician to carry out therapies. Should it become necessary, the University of Michigan has a strong and successful lung transplant program that will allow for seamless movement to the next step in therapy.

In addition to clinical trials and improved diagnostic methods, the Interstitial Lung Disease Program is committed to finding new therapy options for patients through scientific research. Basic cellular research related to the pathobiology of interstitial lung disease has been successfully translated to a clinical study based at the University of Michigan. Research and clinical progress is actively translated across disciplines with a common goal of bettering the understanding, diagnosis and treatment for interstitial lung disease. 

Types of Lung Disorders Treated by the University of Michigan ILD Program

Among the types of disorders treated by the Interstitial Lung Disease Program are:

  • Ideopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Non-specific Interstitial Pneumonia (NSIP)
  • Scarring disease of the lung associated with autoimmune diseases such as lupus, scleroderma, myositis, rheumatoid arthritis and mixed connective tissue disease
  • Respiratory bronchiolitis
  • Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis  
  • Rheumatoid lung
  • Evaluation for lung transplant

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment related to a lung or pulmonary problem, or for an interstitial lung disease referral, call us at 888-287-1084.