Merck Manual

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Causes of Interstitial Lung Diseases

Causes of Interstitial Lung Diseases



Autoimmune disorders


Fungal, mycoplasmal (a type of bacterial infection, including tuberculosis), parasitic, rickettsial, or viral infections

Organic dust

Bird droppings and molds


Amiodarone, bleomycin, busulfan, carbamazepine, chlorambucil, cocaine, cyclophosphamide, gold, methotrexate, nitrofurantoin, sulfasalazine, and sulfonamides


Aluminum powder, asbestos, beryllium, metals, sulfur dioxide, talc

Genetic disorders

Fabry disease, familial pulmonary fibrosis, Gaucher disease, Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, neurofibromatosis, Niemann-Pick disease (rare), pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis, pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, tuberous sclerosis

Idiopathic* interstitial pneumonias

Therapeutic or industrial radiation-related

Radiation therapy for cancer

Other disorders

* Idiopathic means with no known cause.