Merck Manual

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Unusual Interstitial Lung Diseases

Unusual Interstitial Lung Diseases





Slow-developing (over weeks to months) or sudden, severe symptoms

Shortness of breath


Stopping the drug that is causing symptoms

Corticosteroids (sometimes effective)

Many classes of drugs may cause this disease.

The disease is often more severe in older people.

The extent and severity of the disease are sometimes related to how large the drug dose was and how long the drug was taken.

Most commonly, coughing up blood (hemoptysis)

Anemia due to chronic blood loss

Kidney failure (sometimes)

Corticosteroids and cytotoxic drugs (such as cyclophosphamide )

Blood transfusions if needed because of blood loss

Oxygen therapy for a low level of oxygen in the blood

In these rare disorders, blood leaks from small, thin-walled blood vessels (capillaries), often because of an autoimmune reaction.

Massive bleeding can cause death.

Difficulty breathing


Chest pain

Sometimes coughing up blood

Lung transplantation


This rare disorder occurs in young women.

It may worsen during pregnancy.