Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a broad category of lung diseases that includes more than 130 disorders characterized by scarring (fibrosis) and/or inflammation of the lungs. ILD accounts for 15 percent of the cases seen by pulmonologists.
In ILD, the tissue in the lungs becomes inflamed and/or scarred. The interstitium of the lung refers to the area in and around the small blood vessels and alveoli (air sacs). This is where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide take place. Inflammation and scarring of the interstitium disrupts this tissue. This leads to a decrease in the ability of the lungs to extract oxygen from the air.
As a center specializing in the care of patients with lung diseases such as ILD, our health care providers have vast experience in treating people with these rare and complex conditions. Doctors at National Jewish Health develop and implement a detailed plan of diagnosis and care based on the latest information available regarding ILD.
There is a tremendous amount of interest in understanding the mechanisms of scarring in ILD, and extensive research in this area is being conducted at National Jewish Health. The National Institutes of Health has designated and funded National Jewish Health as a Specialized Center of Research for ILD. Together with our basic scientists, the doctors and staff at National Jewish Health work to broaden our understanding of the causes of ILD and develop new treatment approaches.
The ILD team at National Jewish Health is a group of highly specialized physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, lab technicians, and clinical research coordinators dedicated to helping people with interstitial lung diseases and developing new treatment approaches. Thanks to our committed and enthusiastic team, we are able to combine our passion for caring for patients and our dedication to research together to improve the lives of the ILD community.
The mission of the ILD Program at National Jewish Health is to perform innovative, cutting-edge, translational and clinical research whose broad aims are to advance understanding of ILD and to identify, develop and test interventions to treat ILD patients. We are committed to bringing this improved understanding to the bedside and applying it in a caring, compassionate, multi-disciplinary clinical program aimed at improving the lives of people with ILD.