Interstitial Lung Disease in Children Older Than 2 Years

Pediatr Allergy Immunol Pulmonol. 2010 Mar;23(1):33-41. doi: 10.1089/ped.2010.0008.


The spectrum of childhood interstitial lung diseases (chILD) encompasses a group of heterogeneous, rare disorders in children characterized by diffuse pulmonary infiltrates and disordered gas exchange. Whereas the disorders that present in early life are unique to children, those that present in older children are also seen in adults. This review will concentrate on chILD presenting in children older than 2 years of age with a focus on the idiopathic interstitial pneumonias, connective tissue diseases, alveolar hemorrhage, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. A systematic approach to diagnosis that includes a careful history and physical, computed tomography of the chest, bronchoalveolar lavage, and lung biopsy can be very helpful in establishing the correct diagnosis. Treatment approaches are described, including general supportive measures, indications for a trial of systemic corticosteroids, or other immunomodulating therapies, and when lung transplantation reserved for those with end-stage lung disease should be considered.