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Pulmonary Fibrosis overview

Published: July 08, 2009. Updated: July 27, 2009

Pulmonary fibrosis represent a large number of conditions that involve the parenchyma of the lung -- the alveoli, the alveolar epithelium, the capillary endothelium, and the spaces between these structures, as well as the perivascular and lymphatic tissues. The histologic hallmark and chief diagnostic criterion of interstitial pneumonia is a heterogeneous appearance at low magnification with alternating areas of normal lung, interstitial inflammation, fibrosis, and honeycomb changes.

Causes

  • Cryptogenic (idiopathic)
  • Extrinsic allergic alveolitis
  • Asbestosis
  • Infective (TB)
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Collagen vascular diseases
  • SLE
  • Rheumatoid
  • Sarcoid
  • Scleroderma
  • Iatrogenic
    • Amiodarone
    • Busulphan
    • Bleomycin
    • Radiotherapy

Symptoms

Symptoms of pulmonary edema include difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, excessive sweating, anxiety and pale skin. If left untreated, it can lead to death.

Diagnosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is diagnosed by a plain chest x-ray. The x-ray will show the characteristic the diffuse reticular or reticulo-nodular appearance.


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