Article

Lung

, Volume 191, Issue 1, pp 19-25

Diagnostic Workup for Diffuse Parenchymal Lung Disease: Schematic Flowchart, Literature Review, and Pitfalls

  • Barbara DeconinckAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, University Hospitals Leuven Email author 
  • , Johny VerschakelenAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, University Hospitals Leuven
  • , Johan CoolenAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, University Hospitals Leuven
  • , Eric VerbekenAffiliated withDepartment of Histopathology, University Hospitals Leuven
  • , Geert VerledenAffiliated withUnit for Lung Transplantation, Department of Respiratory Medicine, University Hospitals LeuvenUnit for Interstitial Lung Diseases, Department of Pneumology, University Hospitals Leuven
  • , Wim WuytsAffiliated withUnit for Lung Transplantation, Department of Respiratory Medicine, University Hospitals LeuvenUnit for Interstitial Lung Diseases, Department of Pneumology, University Hospitals Leuven

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Abstract

Purpose

The term diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD) refers to a group of disorders affecting the lung parenchyma that can be categorized into those of known and those of unknown etiology. Early diagnosis is important since some forms of DPLD are characterized by a rapid progression to respiratory failure. Notwithstanding the fact that recently guidelines have been published, some issues concerning the practical evaluation of a patient with suspected DPLD remain unclear.

Methods

In this article we propose a practical approach to the diagnosis and differentiation of DPLD. Moreover, a critical appraisal is provided based on the current literature and frequent pitfalls are highlighted.

Conclusion

we propose a practical workup, but in spite of increasing evidence concerning the diagnosis of DPLD, further studies will be needed to clarify several issues for efficient investigation of newly diagnosed patients with DPLD.

Keywords

Interstitial lung diseases Diffuse parenchymal lung diseases Pulmonary fibrosis Diagnosis Investigation