Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD): Causes

Some of the known causes of ILD include:

Connective Tissue or Autoimmune Disease such as:

  • Scleroderma
  • Vasculitis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Polymyositis/Dermatomyositis

Occupational and environmental exposure such as:

  • Inorganic dust (silica, hard metal dusts)
  • Organic dust (bacteria, animal proteins)
  • Gases, fumes

Drugs and poisons


  • Residue of active infection of any type
  • Ongoing chronic infections

Some ILDs, while we know a lot about how they affect people, have no known cause. These conditions are termed “idiopathic” (meaning of unknown cause).

Some examples of these include:

  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Idiopathic Nonspecific Interstitial Pneumonia
  • Acute Interstitial Pneumonia
  • Sarcoidosis