Interstitial lung disease


Appropriate Tests


Review clinical features, particularly environmental and occupational history, for evidence of inhalation of dusts or fumes.

Bronchoalveolar lavage with cytology and differential cell count may be useful for diagnosis and follow up.

Lung biopsy if diagnosis uncertain; open lung biopsy may be indicated for some forms of diffuse disease.

Blood gas arterial if indicated.

See also Occupational lung disease

Inhalation of environmental agents


Inorganic dusts (pneumoconiosis), especially

  • Asbestosis
  • Silicosis


Organic dusts (extrinsic allergic alveolitis)

  • Farmer's lung
  • Bird fancier's lung


Gases, fumes, vapours, especially

  • Welder's lung


Drug reactions


Cytotoxic drugs, especially

  • Methotrexate
  • Bleomycin
  • Busulphan


Other, including

  • Amiodarone
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Sulphonamides
  • Penicillins


Granulomatous lung disease


Mycobacterial infection




Vasculitis associated, especially

  • Churg-Strauss disease
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis

Full blood count, White cell count differential, Blood film; Erythrocyte sedimentation rate; Immunoglobulins G, A, M; Antineutrophil cytoplasmic Ab.



Histiocytosis X


Connective tissue diseases


Pulmonary irradiation


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis)


Go Back

Page last updated:

Copyright © 2021 RCPA. All rights reserved.