Lung Tissue Diseases

Lung Tissue Diseases refers to a group of restrictive lung diseases that prevent the lungs from expanding fully due to fibrosis, making it difficult for the lung to oxygenate the blood and remove carbon dioxide effectively. The most common causes of Lung Tissue Disease are Pulmonary Fibrosis, Sarcoidosis, and Asbestosis which usually present with difficulty in breathing.

Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary Fibrosis happens when the lung tissue continually becomes damaged, stiffened, and develop extensive fibrosis. The massive scarring of the lung tissues restricts expansion and alters oxygenation of the blood. The extensive fibrosis of the lungs is irreversible, thus treatment may only focus on alleviating the symptoms of the disease. In select cases, the condition may advance to include Pulmonary Hypertension, a lung circulation disease.  Select individuals may be candidates for lung transplant before Pulmonary Hypertension sets in.      

Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is the accumulation or concretion of small inflammatory cells in the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes, and skin. The accumulation of the inflammatory cells (sarcoid cells) can hamper the normal function of the lung tissue and restrict its expansion. Some cases of sarcoidosis resolve spontaneously, while others last for years.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis happens when one inhales a sizable amount of asbestos fibers and causes scarring of the lungs. Extensive scarring of the lungs may cause breathing difficulty and oxygenation problems. The alleviation of the symptoms of asbestosis is the only treatment option available because there is no cure for asbestosis.

Lung Tissue Disease Diagnosis

First, your pulmonologist will conduct a Q and A session to gather comprehensive information. The initial test may be the non-invasive Pulmonary Function Tests to establish the level of lung function. A Chest X ray may be useful in detecting a variety of lung diseases.  A Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan may evaluate the stage or extent of specific lung diseases.  A Biopsy may be useful to differentiate between Pulmonary Fibrosis and Sarcoidosis. Learn more about The Diagnostic Process for Lung Conditions.

Treatment and Outcome for Lung Tissue Diseases

There is no treatment available to reverse the effects of Lung Tissue diseases. The following treatment modalities offer symptomatic relief, may slow down the progression of these lung tissue diseases or in the case of lung transplant, may rejuvenate lung capacity for a prolonged life when compared to the possible alternative. Treatment modalities for Lung Tissue Diseases may include:

Medications – the introduction of corticosteroids, immune suppressants and N acetylcystein have been shown to slow down the progression of Pulmonary Fibrosis and Sarcoidosis. Bronchodilators may be used to allay the signs of dyspnea (difficulty in breathing) in Asbestosis.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation – Pulmonary rehabilitation may help the patients of Pulmonary Fibrosis achieve a better quality of life and independence. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a combination of physical exercises to improve the endurance, breathing techniques to improve lung efficiency, nutrition counseling and emotional support.

Oxygen Therapy – Oxygen supplementation may be needed in all the Lung Tissue Diseases, especially in the later stages of the disease.

Lung Transplant – Lung transplants may be necessary before the Lungs fail in Asbestosis or in the case of other lung tissue diseases, such as Pulmonary Fibrosis.

OUTCOME

All individuals with Lung Tissue Diseases have no known cure. Individuals with these types of diseases may seek out counseling if there are identifiable signs of coping difficulties. Sarcoidosis may cause distressing dyspnea (difficulty breathing), but is self-limiting from a few days to a few years. Lifestyle modification like cessation of smoking should be strictly enforced. Medications prescribed to alleviate symptoms and delay the progression of the disease must be taken religiously.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.