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Environmental lung diseases, often associated with the work place, encompass a wide range of disorders that involve the airway, air sacs of the lung (alveoli), arteries, and veins.
Common environmental lung diseases include:
These diseases have symptoms that range from subtle to inflammatory.
The University of Pittsburgh Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at UPMC, created in 2001 because of a generous gift from the Simmons family, is dedicated to providing the highest quality of health care, education, and support for people with interstitial lung diseases and their caregivers and loved ones.
To determine the best route for treatment, specialists at the University of Pittsburgh Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at UPMC will:
Tests used to confirm a diagnosis of ILD include:
In selected patients, lung biopsy using video-assisted thoracic surgery must be done to provide a histological, or tissue, diagnosis of occupational lung disease. This also helps to rule out the possibility of associated diseases or cancer.
Our pathologists, highly experienced in the field of lung diseases, evaluate the tissue as part of the histological diagnosis of occupational lung diseases.
The University of Pittsburgh Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at UPMC specializes in managing environmental and other lung diseases. We offer the multidisciplinary approach needed to treat patients and prevent progression of lung disease, when possible.
Patients are evaluated by the Simmons Center team, that includes:
Our team will periodically re-evaluate patient progress and assess the treatment options once the diagnosis of occupational- or environmental-induced lung disease is confirmed.
There are no approved drug therapies for many people with these diseases, but most patients benefit from:
UPMC is a world leader in lung transplantation and experts at the Lung Transplantation Program evaluate patients rigorously to determine their eligibility for this procedure.
Doctors at the Simmons Center work closely with members of the Lung Transplant Program to refer patients for evaluation, when the time is right.
Participation in clinical research is one of the major benefits of referral to large specialized centers in occupational lung diseases such as UPMC.
While there are currently no proven effective medications for most occupational lung diseases, novel drugs are being tested continuously.
Participating in research studies directly contributes to finding a cure for these preventable, but devastating, illnesses.