The UK Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic offers patients with chronic, advanced lung disease the expert care and multidisciplinary resources they need to reduce symptoms, minimize additional damage and maximize quality of life.
Interstitial lung disease, also known as ILD, is a collection of more than 300 lung diseases characterized by progressive lung tissue scarring. As a result of the scar tissue and lung damage, patients with ILD can experience symptoms such as inflammation, shortness of breath, a dry cough, fatigue and chest discomfort. While some forms of ILD are the result of exposure to asbestos or silica, other types may be caused by medications or infections. In some cases, doctors can’t determine the cause of ILD.
Though lung scarring isn’t reversible, medications, treatments and therapies are available that can slow damage, improve lung function and delay the progression of ILD. Because of the complex nature of ILD, patients need access to specialized care from a dedicated clinic, such as the UK Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic.
The UK Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic is a specialty program of UK Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. Under the leadership of Said Chaaban, MD, and James McCormick, MD, the clinic offers the full scope of ILD care — including advanced diagnostic options, management strategies and palliative care.
Our clinicians treat all types of ILD, including:
Autoimmune disease-related scarring of the lung associated with lupus, myositis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and mixed connective tissue disease
- Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP)
- Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Respiratory bronchiolitis
Located on the second floor of the Kentucky Clinic, the UK Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic was created in 2018 to fill the gap in care for our region’s ILD patients.
To address these needs, our pulmonologists take a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together a team of thoracic (chest) surgeons, interventional pulmonologists, radiologists, rheumatologists, pathologists and specialty pharmacists twice monthly or as needed to discuss each patient and ensure that patients have a personalized treatment plan that continues to meet their needs. If adjustments need to be made, the staff at the UK Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic can make referrals for any of the extensive array of services available through the UK HealthCare system — from pulmonary rehabilitation to the lung transplant program.
In 2019, the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation designated UK HealthCare as part of its Care Center Network. This select group of prestigious programs meets the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s high standards by providing specialized care, leading-edge research and support services that benefit pulmonary fibrosis patients.
Because ILD is progressive, it’s important that patients receive the supportive care and education they need to help control symptoms and improve quality of life. In the UK Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic, nurse practitioner Debra Gleason leads a palliative care program that helps patients manage symptoms and provides condition-specific education. Gleason discusses goals of care and advanced care planning with each patient.
The ILD support group, which meets once a month, offers patients the opportunity to share stories and insight with others with the same or similar diagnoses, while also learning more about ILD from experts within the community.