Dyspnea in interstitial lung disease

Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2008 Jun;2(2):100-4. doi: 10.1097/SPC.0b013e3282ff6336.


Purpose of review: Dyspnea is a common complication of interstitial lung disease, yet little is known about its cause and effective management. This review attempts to summarize the current state of the art in this area.

Recent findings: Dyspnea is a near-universal finding in people with interstitial lung disease, predominantly due to neuromechanical abnormalities. Several well studied metrics exist for the measurement of dyspnea in this population, and its severity has been linked to quality of life and survival. The management of dyspnea in interstitial lung disease remains a challenge, with no proven pharmacological options. Pulmonary rehabilitation shows therapeutic promise, and aggressive treatment of physical and psychiatric comorbidities is important.

Summary: Dyspnea remains a common and difficult to treat symptom for people with interstitial lung disease. More research is sorely needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dyspnea / diagnosis
  • Dyspnea / etiology*
  • Dyspnea / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Severity of Illness Index