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Advanced Care at Penn

For majority of people with sarcoidosis, there are no symptoms and the disease clears up by itself. For Karen, it was different: It led to the complete deterioration of her lungs and heart. Listen to her story.

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) and Sarcoidosis Program

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) describes a broad category of chronic lung disorders, all of which cause scarring of the lung tissue. Accurate diagnosis of this condition can be difficult due to the large number of disorders, as well as the similarity of symptoms to other diseases. Common symptoms of ILDs include very severe shortness of breath and relentless coughing.

Sarcoidosis is a specific type of ILD caused by inflammation that leads to the development of tiny collections of inflammatory cells in different parts of your body. Though many cases resolve on their own, the inflammation can last for years and may lead to permanent damage. When you are struggling with chronic lung disease, it's important to get the care you need from a team that has the experience and specialized background to diagnose and treat interstitial lung disease.

The Penn Difference

The most accurate ILD diagnoses occur when there is direct communication between pulmonologists, radiologists and pathologists who are all experts in ILDs. At Penn, our ILD specialists are under one roof, working together to provide the highest level of care in the Philadelphia region. We are recognized nationally and internationally for our program, which brings together experts in pulmonary and critical care medicine, thoracic surgery, lung pathology and chest radiology. We also collaborate with medical geneticists and thoracic surgeons and our multidisciplinary team meets regularly to review treatment plans and make sure you're getting the specialized care and attention you need.

Accurate Diagnosis of ILD and Sarcoidosis

The diagnostic team can choose from a number of medical tests to accurately diagnosis your condition:

  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan
  • Exercise test
  • Pulmonary function test
  • Lung biopsy (non-surgical or surgical)

ILDs are often treated with powerful medications that may have serious potential side effects. Our team has comprehensive knowledge of available medications and treatments and is proficient in identifying the best treatment for you.

And because we’re an academic medical center, the ILD and Sarcoidosis Program provides access to the latest ILD and pulmonary clinical trials. This means you are cared for by an expert team providing innovative approaches to ILD care.

Expert Care at Every Stage

Most ILDs develop gradually, but some disorders occur quickly. Our teams wants you to be confident that you're receiving the highest level of care as your condition progresses. When ILDs occur as part of a larger syndrome affecting the entire body (such as connective tissue disease), our team closely coordinates care with other specialists, including rheumatologists, dermatologists and cardiologists. We also work closely with the Lung Transplant Program to coordinate care for those who may qualify for lung transplantation. 

When needed, you also have access to Penn's Lung Cancer team and Lung Nodule Program. Our team will be with you every step of the way and will work with you to create a care plan that is tailored to your need.

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ILD and Sarcoidosis Team

Meet ILD and sarcoidosis specialists at Penn.

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