Context: Nonneoplastic lung diseases include a wide range of pathologic disorders from asthma to interstitial lung disease to pulmonary hypertension. Recent advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology of many of these disorders may ultimately impact diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis. It is important for the practicing pathologist to be aware of this new information and to understand how it impacts the diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of these diseases.
Objective: To update current progress toward elucidating the pathophysiology of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis, and pulmonary arterial hypertension, as well as to present classification systems for pulmonary hypertension, asthma, and interstitial lung disease and describe how these advances relate to the current practice of pulmonary pathology.
Data sources: Published literature from PubMed (National Library of Medicine) and primary material from the authors' institution.
Conclusions: Improved understanding of the pathophysiology of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, pulmonary hypertension, and idiopathic hemosiderosis may impact the role of the surgical pathologist. New markers of disease may need to be assessed by immunohistochemistry or molecular techniques. The classification systems for interstitial lung disease, asthma, and pulmonary hypertension are evolving, and surgical pathologists should consider the clinicopathologic context of their diagnoses of these entities.