Pulmonary fibrosis is a descriptive term given when there is excess of fibrotic tissue in lung. It can occur in a wide range of clinical settings and can be precipitated by a multitude of causes. The term should not be confused with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis which is a progressive fibrotic lung disease.
Pulmonary fibrosis can be localised, segmental, lobar, or affect the entirety of the lung(s).
Fibrosis in the lung is a process that occurs in the interstitium. It is therefore also termed interstitial fibrosis.
Among the many conditions associated with pulmonary fibrosis are:
- significant acute insult to the lungs
- inhaled substances
- radiation: radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis
- congenital conditions
- autoimmune conditions
- connective tissue disorders
- granulomatous conditions
- sarcoidosis: pulmonary manifestations of sarcoidosis
- tuberculosis: pulmonary manifestations of tuberculosis
- granulomatosis with polyangiitis: pulmonary manifestations of granulomatosis with polyangiitis
There are many features that can imply underlying pulmonary fibrosis, these include:
- traction bronchiectasis
- lung architectural distortion
- interlobular septal thickening: this feature is not specific for fibrosis
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