Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)/Pulmonary Fibrosis

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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.

Our Specialists

  • Kevin K. Brown
    Kevin K. Brown, MD
  • Zulma X. Yunt
    Zulma X. Yunt, MD

Clinical Trials

A Linkage and Association Study in Pulmonary Fibrosis

The purpose of this study is to investigate inherited genetic factors that play a role in the development of familial pulmonary fibrosis and to identify a group of genes that predispose individuals to develop pulmonary fibrosis.  Finding the genes which play a role in pulmonary fibrosis is the first step at developing better methods for early diagnosis and improved treatment for pulmonary fibrosis. The overall hypothesis is that inherited genetic factors predispose individuals to develop pulmonary fibrosis.

The study requires the following:

  • For affected individuals, we confirm your diagnosis by reviewing your medical records. We also ask for a history questionnaire to be filled out and obtain a sample of blood or tissue for genetic studies.
  • Unaffected family members are screened with a questionnaire, and a blood sample is obtained for genetic studies.  Some family members may qualify to undergo high-resolution CT (HRCT) scan for the study.

To be eligible:

The only requirement for this study is to have at least 2 members of your family diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).  You may be included in this number.

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Reasons to Visit National Jewish Health

  • The leading respiratory hospital in the nation and the only one devoted fully to the treatment of respiratory and related illnesses
  • Ranked as one of the top two hospitals in pulmonology every year since U.S. News & World Report included this category in its annual “Best Hospitals” survey
  • Ranked in the top 1 percent of hospitals in the nation by HCAHPS
  • Physicians frequently recognized as among the best in the nation by multiple services, including Best Doctors in America and Castle Connolly
  • Among the top 8 percent of organizations funded for research by the NIH, providing patients access to the latest clinical trials
  • 118-year history of focus on care, research and education serving thousands of patients with lung, heart, immune and related disorders


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Patient Stories

Health Insights & News

Giving Help us care for patients with interstitial lung disease. Ways to Give

#Men are nearly twice as likely as women to suffer from #IPF.

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