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#1 peanut

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 08:35 PM

Someone (not my doctor) told me interstitial lung disease caused by scleroderma means that the immune system is attacking the lungs, similar to what happens in a lung transplant patient with rejection. The end result is the scar tissue sealing up the lungs. Is this true?

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#2 Gidget

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 04:53 AM

Hi Peanut,
Yes, I believe that your understanding is correct. Basically, it is my understanding that just as the body is laying down collegen on your joints, the body is also laying down a form of collegen in your lungs. When this happens, your lungs start to show "ground glass" which I guess starts to look like fiberglass insulation after a time in your lungs. The problem with this "glass" in the lungs is that the oxygen exchange happens in the lungs. When the lungs are clear, their is no problem with the exchange. As the lungs begin to show more of this "ground glass", the oxygen exchange is more difficult to make as the ground glass creates a barrier to this exchange. I think that in the end this ground glass does become a form of scar tissue. That is why I believe that once you have the ILD, your best hope is to preserve your lungs as there is very little that can be done to improve them or offset the effects of this ground glass. Basically, the way I look at it is that my body is laying down fibroysis in my lungs and that is why I am loosing lung capacity. Hope this helps. Regards, Gidget