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Side Effect: Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

What is Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)?

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a condition where the tissue that surrounds the air sacs in the lungs becomes inflamed and can lead to scarring. This can lead to poorer lung function and trouble with breathing.

What does Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) look like?

The severity and specific symptoms if ILD can vary widely depending upon the cause and classification of ILD (mild, moderate, or severe). Symptoms of ILD can include:

Diagnosing ILD typically requires radiographic imaging, such as an X-ray and/or CT scan, pulmonary function tests (also known as PFTs), and sometimes a lung biopsy.

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

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Who gets Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)?

ILD can be caused by certain autoimmune diseases, exposure to environmental toxins, or by medications. Some cancers themselves can cause ILD due to the direct involvement of the lungs by the cancer.

Certain chemotherapy medications have been associated with the development of ILD such as:

How to treat Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

The management of ILD typically involves a combination of supportive care measures, medication adjustments, and discontinuation of the offending agent whether that be a drug, chemotherapy, or an environmental toxin.

It may include:

It is important to remember that the choice of treatment will depend upon various factors including the specific type, cause, and severity of ILD, the individual's overall health, and the presence of other medical conditions.


1)    Conte P, Ascierto PA, Patelli G, et al. Drug-induced interstitial lung disease during cancer therapies: expert opinion on diagnosis and treatment. ESMO Open 2022;7(2):100404.

2)    Raghu G, Rochwerg B, Zhang Y, et al. An Official ATS/ERS/JRS/ALAT Clinical Practice Guideline: Treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. An Update of the 2011 Clinical Practice Guideline. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2015;192(2):e3-19

Created: November 8, 2023 Updated: November 13, 2023