Connective Tissue Disease-Associated Interstitial Lung Diseases: Unresolved Issues

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Abstract

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) complicating connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis, is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Progress has been made in our understanding of these collective diseases; however, there are still many unanswered questions. In this review, we describe the current views on epidemiology, clinical presentation, treatment, and prognosis in patients with connective tissue disease (CTD)-associated ILD. We also highlight several areas that remain unresolved and in need of further investigation, including interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features, histopathologic phenotype, and pharmacologic management. A multidisciplinary and multidimensional approach to diagnosis, management, and investigation of CTD-associated ILD patients is essential to advance our understanding of the epidemiology and pathobiology of this challenging group of diseases.

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