Interstitial Lung Diseases of Unknown Cause: Disorders Characterized by Chronic Inflammation of the Lower Respiratory Tract

Ronald G. Crystal, Peter B. Bitterman, Stephen I. Rennard, Allan J. Hance, Brendan A. Keogh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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THE interstitial lung diseases are a heterogeneous group of disorders of the lower respiratory tract characterized by derangements of the alveolar walls and loss of functional alveolar capillary units.1 2 3 More than 100 agents are known to cause interstitial disease, but in two thirds of all cases, no cause can be identified.3 This group, commonly referred to as interstitial lung diseases of unknown cause, is responsible for more than 10,000 hospital admissions in the United States each year and has a prevalence of 5 to 10 cases per 100,000 population.3 The list of interstitial lung diseases of unknown cause includes 35.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-166
Number of pages13
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 1984


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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