Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is an umbrella term for disorders involving scarring or inflammation of the tissue surrounding the air sacs in the lungs. Since many patients with ILD get worse over time, getting a diagnosis and beginning treatment as soon as possible is important.
Doctors at Temple’s Interstitial Lung Disease Program see patients with all types of ILD, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), sarcoidosis, acute interstitial pneumonitis (AIP), bleomycin-induced pneumonitis (BIP), scleroderma-related lung disease, other connective-tissue disease associated ILDs (CT-ILD), hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), and others.
The team at Temple use a multi-disciplinary approach to diagnose and treat ILD. Using this approach, the ILD team is often able to diagnose patients without the need for a lung biopsy. Instead, Temple’s multi-disciplinary committee uses non-invasive, high-resolution scans to diagnose most patients. When a lung biopsy is necessary, Temple’s ILD physicians offer both transbronchial lung biopsies (performed using a bronchoscope inserted through the main airways of the lungs) and open lung biopsies (performed by making an incision in the chest between the ribs). This is done to ensure patients experience as little discomfort as possible, while providing an accurate diagnosis.
Temple offers a high standard of treatment for ILD patients. For IPF patients, Temple’s physicians are experienced in prescribing and managing drug therapy, including nintedanib and pirfenidone. These drugs are FDA approved for the treatment of IPF but can be difficult to manage. For this reason, it is important for treatment with these drugs to be overseen by physicians who are experienced in their use. In addition to providing expert care using currently available therapies, doctors at Temple’s ILD Program are also involved in clinical trials. Many of these trials examine the use of approved medications for treatment of other conditions to determine their ability to become future treatments for patients with ILD. Patients may even be eligible for clinical trials that allow them to continue their current therapies during the study. Temple’s clinical trials program offers eligible patients a chance to benefit from the very latest treatments and therapies.
In patients with advanced disease, lung transplant is an important treatment option. The physicians at Temple’s ILD program work closely with Temple’s lung transplant center to provide patients with one of the best transplant outcomes in the Tri-State area.