Pulmonary Disorders or Lung Diseases: Lung Diseases Affecting the Interstitium, Blood Vessels, Pleura and Chest wall

Pulmonary disorders is the abnormal conditions of the respiratory system. Pulmonary Disorders is often caused by the decrease or compression of air flow paths that prevent air flows in lungs or respiratory system pathways. People with Pulm

Updated: October 12, 2017

Pulmonary disorders is the abnormal conditions of the respiratory system.  Pulmonary Disorders is often caused by the decrease or compression of air flow paths that prevent air flows in lungs or respiratory system pathways. People with Pulmonary Disorders could have acute respiratory failures, like general anesthesia or infections.
Pulmonary disorders can be categorized into six parts. These are:

  • Lung Diseases Affecting the Airways
  • Lung Diseases Affecting the Air Sacs (Alveoli)
  • Lung Diseases Affecting the Interstitium
  • Lung Diseases Affecting Blood Vessels
  • Lung Diseases Affecting the Pleura
  • Lung Diseases Affecting the Chest Wall

Lung Diseases Affecting the Interstitium:

The microscopically thin, delicate lining between the lungs' air sacs (alveoli) is called interstitium. Tiny blood vessels run through the interstitium and allow gas exchange between the alveoli and the blood. Various lung diseases which affect the interstitium include:

Interstitial lung disease (ILD):

Various types of ILD are sarcoidosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and autoimmune disease.

Pneumonia:

An infection of the alveoli which is usually caused by bacteria can develop ILD.

Pulmonary edemas:

Fluid leaks out of the small blood vessels of the lung into the air sacs and the surrounding area. This can also affect the interstitium.

Lung Diseases Affecting Blood Vessels:

The right side of the heart pumps blood into the lungs through the pulmonary arteries. As this part of the heart receives low-oxygen blood from the veins,  blood vessels can suffer from lung disease as well.
These includes:

Pulmonary embolism (PE):

Pulmonary embolism is the sudden blockage of a major blood vessel (artery) in the lung, usually by a blood clot.  In most cases the clots are small and are not deadly, but they can damage the lung. But if the clot is large and stops blood flow to the lung, causes shortness of breath and low blood oxygen levels.

Pulmonary hypertension:

Various conditions can lead to high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. This can cause shortness of breath and chest pain. When the cause is not because of any specific reason, the condition is called idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.


Lung Diseases Affecting the Pleura:

The pleura is a thin lining that surrounds the lung and lines the inside of the chest wall. With each breath, a tiny layer of fluid allows the pleura on the lung's surface to slide along the chest wall . Lung diseases of the pleura include:

Pleural effusion:

A pleural effusion is an unusual amount of fluid build up around the lung. In pleural effusions, fluid builds up in the space between the layers of pleura that is between the lung and the chest wall. There are many medical conditions that can lead to it including pneumonia or heart failure.
Even though your pleural effusion may have to be drained, the treatment has to be done for the condition which caused it. Normally, there will be only teaspoons of watery fluid in the pleural space, allowing the lungs to move smoothly within the chest cavity during breathing. If the fluid build up more than this due to various condition, this can impair breathing, and should be drained.

Pneumothorax:

In this disease, air may enter the space between the chest wall and the lung, collapsing the lung. A tube is typically inserted through the chest wall to remove the air.

Mesothelioma:

A rare form of cancer that forms on the pleura. The main risk factor for mesothelioma is working with asbestos. Asbestos is a group of minerals with thin microscopic fibers. Because these fibers are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity, asbestos are used widely in the construction, automotive, and other industries.
When tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air, as they are in the manufacturing process, they can be inhaled or swallowed, leading to mesothelioma and other serious health problems.

Lung Diseases Affecting the Chest Wall:

The chest wall also plays an important role in breathing. Muscles connect the ribs to each other, helping the chest to expand. The diaphragm descends with each breath in, also causes the chest expansion.

Obesity hypoventilation syndrome:

Extra weight on the chest and abdomen makes it difficult for the chest to expand resulting in serious breathing problems.

Neuromuscular disorders:

Poor functioning of the nerves controlling the respiratory muscles causes difficulty breathing. Some examples of neuromuscular lung disease are, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.


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