Lung fibrosis or scarring of the lungs, is an umbrella term for a number of lung conditions, the most common being idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
At UHSM we have a specialist Interstitial Lung Disease unit with dedicated clinical, nursing and research staff providing the highest standard of care for patients with lung fibrosis and related conditions. Dr Colm Leonard is the Clinical Lead for this service and Dr Nazia Chaudhuri is the Research Lead.
An Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a condition that causes scarring of a particular part of the lung called the interstitium. We often call this pulmonary fibrosis. Both these terms are an umbrella term for over 100 different diseases that cause scarring of the lungs. The commonest and often the most severe is Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), however there are many others.
We also see patients with sarcoidosis, non-specific interstitial pneumonitis (NSIP), hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HSP), connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma. We also see patients with many more scarring lung conditions.
The North West of England has the highest prevalence of ILD in the country and we diagnose, review and manage patients from the local area, from within the North West region and from further afield.
As this scarring gets worse the lungs find it more difficult to work properly, resulting in the symptoms which include:
- Shortness of breath – especially when physically active – which gradually worsens over time
- A persistent dry cough
Interstitial lung disease unit
Our specialist Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Unit team have a wealth of experience in the assessment, diagnosis, management and treatment of Interstitial Lung Disease. We aim to excel in the care we provide, and ensure that UHSM ILD services are at the forefront of national and international standards set for ILD.
We manage patients at all stages of ILD from those newly diagnosed, to those in clinical trials and those with more advanced disease requiring lung transplantation. We have close connections with the lung transplant unit as one of our Consultants, Dr. Leonard, works both in the ILD and transplant unit.
We have a dedicated specialist multi-disciplinary team who ensure an accurate diagnostic and management pathway for our patients.
We have a wealth of experience in the assessment, management and treatment of patients with the following ILDs:
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
- Non-specific interstitial pneumonitis (NSIP)
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP)
- Connective tissue disease associated lung disease
- Vasculitis associated lung disease
- Langerhan’s cell histiocytosis
- Drug-induced lung disease
- Cryptogenic organising pneumonia (COP)
Lung fibrosis support group
The support group meets on a two monthly basis. It includes educational talks on lung fibrosis and gives patients the opportunity to meet and discuss with fellow suffers.
Tests and treatment
We offer a full range of tests that may be required to diagnose the type of lung fibrosis you have. When you come to clinic you may have one or more of these tests:
- Lung function testing
- Walk test
- Oxygen assessment
- CT scan (a sophisticated more detailed x-ray scan of your chest)
- Echocardiogram (scan of your heart)
- Cardiac MRI
- Bronchoscopy (camera test looking into your lungs)
- Lung biopsy
We offer a range of treatments depending on the type of lung scarring you have and these are individually tailored to each patients. Treatments with anti-fibrotic drugs include Pirfenidone and Nintedanib for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
We work closely with our rheumatology colleagues when using steroids and immune suppressant drugs for connective tissue diseases, and also liaise closely with our lung transplant teams.
We have a dedicated state of the art Clinical Research Facility (CRF) and the Charles Blackley Ward, dedicated to research. Our patients have the opportunity to be involved in the current cutting edge clinical research trials and have been involved in all the large international multi-centre clinical trials in Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis including Interferon gamma, Bosentan, Septrin, Nintedanib and Pirfenidone.
In conjunction with Salford Royal Hospital we are involved in a study looking at disease susceptibility genes and auto-antibodies associated with the development of ILD in patients with and without connective tissue disease.
We have also been involved in research looking at the support and information needs of patients with IPF and ILD.
You can learn about our leading research work, how this benefits patients, and how you can get involved, by visiting our research facility pages.
The Interstitial Lung Disease Unit is based at the North West Lung Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital and is located in the Yellow Zone, Entrance 4, off Southmoor Road.