LUNG (PULMONARY) FIBROSIS
Pulmonary fibrosis is an abnormal formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) in the lungs.
It can take many forms. The most common is where the scar tissue surrounds and engulfs the alveoli and also involves the interstitial tissue of the lungs.
In this form of fibrosis there is chronic inflammation which is thought to generate the fibrosis.
This inflammation can be generated without obvious cause - or it can occur following inhalation of small particles, such as asbestos that can cause damage to the alveoli.
Pulmonary fibrosis becomes clinically obvious when the alveoli gradually become replaced by fibrotic tissue.
This leads to scarring, which makes the lung tissue thicker and causes an irreversible loss of the tissue’s ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. Pulmonary fibrosis can be a mild, severe or often a life-threatening disease.
As the disease progresses the lung tissues become thickened and stiff, leading to breathlessness and difficulty breathing.