Diffuse Parenchymal Lung Disease: A Clinical Overview

  • Venerino Poletti


Diffuse parenchymal lung disease is a generic term including a variety of disorders characterized by accumulation/infiltration of extracellular substances, fluids, or cells in the structures of the secondary pulmonary lobule. Pathophysiology is different according to the large number of disorders grouped together. However five basic mechanisms may be considered: infections, malignancy, granulomatous inflammation, nongranulomatous inflammation/fibrosis, and finally alveolar stem cell exhaustion and bronchiolar proliferation/fibrosis. The clinical features may be helpful for diagnosis, but the imaging aspects are a keystone in the diagnostic workup. Invasive procedures are needed only in a minority although still significant number of cases.


Secondary pulmonary lobule High-resolution CT scan Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) Sarcoidosis Bronchoalveolar lavage Transbronchial lung biopsy Transbronchial cryobiopsy Surgical lung biopsy 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Venerino Poletti
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Diseases of the ThoraxOspedale Morgagni-PierantoniForlìItaly
  2. 2.Department of Respiratory Diseases and AllergyAarhus University HospitalAarhusDenmark

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