Smoking-related interstitial lung diseases: A concise review

J. H. Ryu, T. V. Colby, T. E. Hartman, R. Vassallo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

240 Scopus citations


Interstitial lung diseases (also known as diffuse infiltrative lung diseases) are a heterogeneous group of parenchymal lung disorders of known or unknown cause. These disorders are usually associated with dyspnoea, diffuse lung infiltrates, and impaired gas exchange. The majority of interstitial lung diseases are of unknown cause. Known causes of interstitial lung disease include inhalation of organic and inorganic dusts as well as gases or fumes, drugs, radiation, and infections. This review summarizes the clinical, radiological, and histopathological features of four interstitial lung disorders that have been linked to smoking. These disorders include desquamative interstitial pneumonia, respiratory bronchiolitis-associated interstitial lung disease, pulmonary Langerhans' cell histiocytosis, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Available evidence suggests most cases of desquamative interstitial pneumonia, respiratory bronchiolitis-associated interstitial lung disease, and pulmonary Langerhans' cell histiocytosis are caused by cigarette smoking in susceptible individuals. Smoking cessation should be a main component in the initial therapeutic approach to smokers with these interstitial lung diseases. In addition, smoking appears to be a risk factor for the development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-132
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Bronchiolitis
  • Interstitial lung diseases
  • Langerhans' cell histiocytosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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