The diffuse parenchymal lung diseases form a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by varying degrees of inflammation and fibrosis involving the space between epithelial and endothelial basement membranes. Among the diffuse parenchymal lung diseases of unknown etiology, one of the most common is usual interstitial pneumonia/idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which carries the worst prognosis. In contrast, nonspecific interstitial pneumonia, which belongs to the same diffuse parenchymal lung disease group, has a more favorable prognosis. Based on the relative amount of inflammation and fibrosis observed on lung biopsies, at least 2 nonspecific interstitial pneumonia patterns have been suggested: cellular and fibrosing. The long-term prognosis is excellent for patients with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia with a cellular pattern, as compared to patients with a fibrosing pattern. We describe here a patient with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia with a fibrosing pattern in a highly practiced runner, showing an unexpectedly long-term favorable course, and consider the possible role of exercise in the diagnosis and clinical course of the disease. This case reinforces the evidence that exercise training, which is a principal component of pulmonary rehabilitation, may have clinically important effects on functional exercise capacity, especially if it is delivered early in the course of the disease.
- Diffuse parenchymal lung diseases
- Non-specific interstitial pneumonia
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine