After walking down his driveway to pick up the newspaper one morning, Don was so out of breath that he needed to rest before returning home. An avid skier since his teens, Don knew the walk should have been easy compared to racing down steep and icy slopes. Something was wrong.
“I’ve been healthy my whole life,” says Don. “For 70 years I was fine, and then suddenly I couldn’t go up the stairs or shower without losing my breath. I also started coughing.”
Unable to receive a clear diagnosis from his local pulmonologist, Don’s health remained in question for another year. He and his wife, Marianne, knew the reputation of Temple Health through their ads. They decided it was “time to go to a teaching hospital” where a focus on education and research might provide an answer.
Receiving a diagnosis
At the Temple Lung Center, Don’s new doctor ran several tests, including a high-resolution CT scan of the chest. The scan revealed that Don had a pattern of lung injury known as nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP), a type of interstitial lung disease that affects the tissue around the lungs, this rare disorder is most common in women. The cause of NSIP is unknown.
Temple’s Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Program uses a multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat patients with ILD. A team of doctors uses noninvasive, high-resolution imaging to diagnose most patients, which often allows for an accurate diagnosis without need for an invasive lung biopsy.