Indexed on: 29 Apr '16Published on: 28 Apr '16Published in: Respirology
Idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) may have an acute or subacute presentation, or acute exacerbation may occur in a previously subclinical or unrecognized chronic IIP. Acute or subacute IIPs include acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP), cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP), nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP), acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (AE‐IPF) and AE‐NSIP. Interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) including connective tissue disease (CTD) associated ILD, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, acute eosinophilic pneumonia, drug‐induced lung disease and diffuse alveolar haemorrhage need to be differentiated from acute and subacute IIPs. Despite the severe lack of randomized controlled trials for the treatment of acute and subacute IIPs, the mainstream treatment remains corticosteroid therapy. Other potential therapies reported in the literature include corticosteroids and immunosuppression, antibiotics, anticoagulants, neutrophil elastase inhibitor, autoantibody‐targeted treatment, antifibrotics and hemoperfusion therapy. With regard to mechanical ventilation, patients in recent studies with acute and subacute IIPs have shown better survival than those in previous studies. Therefore, a careful value‐laden decision about the indications for endotracheal intubation should be made for each patient. Noninvasive ventilation may be beneficial to reduce ventilator associated pneumonia.