Commonly called pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease (ILD) accounts for 15% of cases seen by pulmonologists. ILD is a term that that actually includes more than 130 lung disorders - all of which are characterized by scarring of the lungs. Among the most common interstitial lung disorders are pulmonary fibrosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, sarcoidosis, and vascular granulomatosis.
Shortness of breath with exercise and a nonproductive cough are the most common symptoms. Other symptoms may include weight loss, fever, fatigue, muscle, and joint pain. ILD can be caused by occupational and environmental exposure to organic and inorganic dust, gases, and fumes; infections; connective tissue disease such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis; and chemotherapy and radiation.