9 Types of Interstitial Lung Disease


Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is not a lung disease itself but a group of several lung conditions, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). You can see the difference between IPF and other interstitial lung diseases by looking at the affected lung tissue under a microscope. According to WebMD, ILDs attack the interstitium, the tissue and space around the lung’s air sacs.

MORE: Interstitial lung disease remains major a diagnostic challenge

This large group of diseases is known for creating progressive scarring of the interstitium which can cause progressive lung stiffness that will end up affecting the patient’s breathing and decrease the amount of oxygen delivered to the bloodstream.

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There are various lung conditions in the interstitial lung disease category, some forms of which are short-lived and others which are chronic and irreversible.

Some of these include:

Interstitial lung diseases have many conditions and symptoms. They can be caused by both autoimmune or rheumatologic diseases, and can also have no known cause. Remember, no matter the disease, your medical team is there to advise you and help you through.

MOREThe causes of interstitial lung disease

Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.


Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.

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  1. Karen Calhoun says:

    You call it asbestosis which can be Mesothelioma .I feel this article is a bit misleading by not saying anything about this disease ! It is horendess ,sudden and fatale ! I have to speak up because it took my husband in 4 months after he was operated on to remove a mass on the outer lining of his lung . Took us another month and a half to get the final diagnosis because what it was saying on his lab specimen was the vague and the Onocologist wanted to start chemo without a true and final diagnosis . With mesothelioma chemo is not going to cure it and they have no real knowledge if it would extend ones life .
    With my husband , I feel if he hadn’t Been operated on he would be here today. He was in no pain, no problems breathing ,just that a mass was found on the lining of his lungs and the Drs wanted to operate and take it off to see if it was lung cancer . Once he had the surgery it was down hill .
    I’m sorry but your article needs to be more informative open and completely honest with the public . Your Disclamer covers your derrière . Just hope they scrolled down that far.

  2. Joan Egger says:

    i was diagnosed with intersticiary pneumonia/pulmonary fibrosis. i need to see and hear the latest developments in this regard because i wish to fight this disease with everything in my power to do so.

  3. Kate Leslie says:

    Interstitial lung disease is a known side effect of statins but this fact is not publicised. I am a retired hospital worker so speak with knowledge and experience of a family member who died from ILD following 10 years of statin taking (together with all the accompanying side effects of muscle loss etc). I am wondering whether Keith Chegwynd
    and the mother of Katy Price,both diagnosed with IPF,
    we’re ever on prescribed statins and if this has been a contributory factor to their illnesses.

    • Gregorio Morales Jr says:

      My mother had this to be known as Asbestoes KNOWINGLY because she washed my DAD’s clothes and Now KNOWN FIBERS to be Asbestoes, THEN BONE CANCER THEN DIED!

  4. Evelyn Bustamante says:

    I recently got the result of the chest xray of my 5 year old son. The findings is Interstitial Pneumonitis. We immediately went to his pedia and she said there’s nothing to worry. But reading all the information in the internet makes me panic. I’m thinking of going to another doctor.

  5. Rebecca says:

    My father was (just turned 60) has a myriad of autoimmune diseases but the one seeming contributing to his IPF is the (RA) Rheumatoid Arthritis. He is now getting tons of testing and they are working towards a double lung transplant. In our research we have come across a link between Methotrexate (which is usually the go-to drug for RA patients) and IPF. Please study this yourself if this is something you are currently on. He had used it for years.

    • sri says:

      Hi Rebecca,
      I need bit more info my father was diagnosed with RA and 50% of his both lungs damaged and he is on medication. I want to discuss a bit more on the issue of how we can improve his quality of life what sort of precautions we can take for those kinds of patients.

  6. Ronnie Carl David says:

    I am an 80 year old male taking a statin for 15 plus years and 2 years ago diagnosed with IPF. I am on oxygen therapy and recently OFEV. I have good and bad days. Looking for better days in the future.

  7. Mary Harris says:

    I was recently diagnosed with IPF, thanks for the note about the statin drugs, that is interesting, since they are bothering my liver, Fatty liver disease. Statin drugs were recently stopped, but no really any help for my scarred lungs, possibly from taking meds prescribed. Very interesting, I am a registered nurse for many years, and hadn’t been aware of the possibility of it affecting my lungs.

  8. Karen says:

    Very interesting about statins causing this. I was diagnosed 6 months ago and just had a follow up last week. It has gotten worse in six months.

  9. Samuel T-EYE says:

    I also want to know if is a cure for ILD because a family member has been diagnosed of that for some months now.
    If there is please help me out.

  10. Ann Wanamaker says:

    I was diagnosed with unspecified mixed connective tissue disease about 15 years ago. My brother died of IPF Sept 2008 10 mos after being diagnosed. One month after he died I had a lung X-ray and was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and because of my UCTD I was told I had ILD. I am puzzled because my brother also had RA. Seems to me it’s all a mixed bag. I am 81 now and reasonably comfortable, stay home most of the time as it’s just too much trouble to cart the oxygen, CPAP, meds is ridiculous! I’m not depressed thank the Lord! I have CAD (7stents) history and my brother had open heart surgery for CAD 5 yrs before his IPF diagnosis. I’m going to UCSF for an appointment consult in early January. Like I said it’s all a mixed bag and hopefully everyone will have good drs like I do.

  11. Robin Resin says:

    I have been taking a statin medication since my heart attack in 2012. Until i read this article, I don’t think I had ever seen any suggestion that the drug could cause ILD and I am now on the recovery side of a very serious ‘attack’ of breathlessness. I am being discharged in a couple of days from
    a rehab facility where I am now on O2 while sleeping or exercising. I am in the care of a pulmonologist whom I asked “Why do I have this?” and he replied “I don’t know.” So imagine my surprise at finding this online source of critically important information which is all new to me. I am quite perturbed that nobody explained what is known now, or suggested that I read up on the latest research and treatment. possibilities for it. I am going to consult with my pcp about it asap and hope to work with her to make a good plan for my diet and exercise program which I will start on Jan.6th.

  12. UPDATE: Hi again! Two of my daughters took me to UCSF and saw a very good specialist in ULD. He had checked all info re my case and showed us my lung CD. As I said, I was diagnosed in Oct 2008 and now lungs are about 2/3’s gone. With 1/3 left ‘we’ figure I may have about 3 more yrs. that’s good news as I’m 81+ 3 mos old. If I sound flippant I’m sorry as this is a terrible disease! My daughters say I ‘minimize’ my health problems and maybe I do, but it keeps me fighting! I am so sorry for those of you young people with this disease and am praying that there will be a cure. This may be a genetic thing and I have children, grands, great grands, 3 sisters, nieces n nephews. God bless us all and the minds of doctors.

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