Interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) mostly result from damage to the lining of the alveoli (air sacs) leading to inflammation and fibrosis of the interstitium (tissue wall between the alveoli).
The main symptom of ILDs is progressive shortness of breath during physical exercise (at an early disease stage), and then at rest (when the disease is more advanced).
Many different diseases
There are more than 300 different disease entities included in this category.
The most common ILDs include sarcoidosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, as well as diseases caused by drug toxicity.
Most ILDs are rare and, therefore, accurate data on prevalence and mortality are scarce.