Pulmonary Fibrosis Clinic

Pulmonary Fibrosis Clinic

We treat patients with interstitial lung diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis. Interstitial lung disease is a group of diseases that cause a thickening of the supporting tissues between the air sacs. It is diffuse, normally affecting all of the lungs and not only one area. Prognosis depends on the precise cause. Some forms resolve completely and some result in irreversible scarring and respiratory failure.

Our specialty team includes pulmonologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, radiologists and pathologists. A nurse coordinates care and connects patients to clinical research and medication trials. Social workers and respiratory therapists provide education and support resources to help patients manage the complex problems related to their condition. 

The provider team spans the range of pulmonology subspecialties to help you stay close to home for treatment.

Symptoms

Dry cough and shortness of breath are typical symptoms. They may develop suddenly or slowly over time. Diagnosing lung conditions early improves the odds of a more favorable outcome. If you experience a dry cough and shortness of breath for two months or longer, call 616.267.8244 to schedule a lung evaluation. 

Causes

Thickening of the supporting tissue can result from:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Genetic conditions
  • Exposure to medications or toxins such as asbestos or tobacco smoke, or environmental toxins
  • Unknown causes (idiopathic)

Diagnosis

Diagnosis typically involves a thorough medical history, physical exam, imaging tests, measuring blood oxygen levels, and sometimes biopsy.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause and regimens can include:

  • Antimicrobial agents
  • Avoidance behavior
  • Chemotherapy
  • Corticosteroids to control inflammation
  • Immunosuppressive agents

Support Group

The pulmonary fibrosis support group meets first Wednesday of each month. It brings patients and their families together to create community, raise awareness and more. Call 616.267.9313 for more information.