Acute Interstitial Pneumonia (AIP) Overview: Acute interstitial pneumonitis (AIP), also known as Hamman-Rich syndrome is an uncommon type of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia for which researchers have not yet found a cause (idiopathic). Pneumonia results when tissues of the lungs become inflamed in reaction to infection. The inflammation can also extend into the bronchioles, the small airways that branch off into the lungs. Prolonged inflammation causes fibrosis. Over time, scar tissue causes the bronchi and the walls of the bronchi widen, or are destroyed, resulting in the lungs shrinking. The condition usually progresses to respiratory failure and medical treatment is immediately required.
Acute Interstitial Pneumonia (AIP) Overview: DIAGNOSIS
Diagnosis of acute interstitial pneumonia is usually confirmed through:
- CT scans
- Lung biopsy
- Tests that measure pulmonary function
Acute Interstitial Pneumonia (AIP) Overview: SYMPTOMS
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Crackling or wheezing sounds in the lungs
- Cyanosis (blue tinge) to the skin
- Heart and brain function issues (rapid heart rate, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness) because of long-term reduced oxygen supply
- Sudden onset of high fever
- Persistent cough that won’t go away
Acute Interstitial Pneumonia (AIP) Overview: TREATMENT
Treatment is supportive and usually requires mechanical ventilation in the event of respiratory failure. Administration of corticosteroid therapy is generally used, although it is not known how effective these medications are.