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Diffuse parenchymal lung disease
Diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD), also known as interstitial lung disease, refers to a group of lung diseases, affecting the alveolar epithelium, pulmonary capillary endothelium, basement membrane, perivascular and perilymphatic tissues. The term DPLD is used to distinguish these diseases from obstructive airways diseases. Most types of DPLD involve fibrosis, but this is not essential; indeed fibrosis is often a later feature. Hence the term pulmonary fibrosis has fallen out of favor.
DPLD may be classified according to the cause: -
1. Inhaled substances
2. Drug induced
3. Connective tissue disease
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Lymphangitic carcinomatosis
DPLD is not a single disease, but encompasses many different pathological processes. Hence treatment is different for each disease.
If a specific occupational exposure cause is found, the person should avoid that environment. If a drug cause is suspected, that drug should be discontinued.
Many idiopathic and connective tissue-based causes of DPLD are treated with prednisolone. Some patients respond to immunosuppressant treatment. Patients with hypoxemia may be given supplemental oxygen.
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