Pulmonary Fibrosis and Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

Including Asbestosis, Pneumoconiosis (Black Lung), and Silicosis

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If you’ve been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis or interstitial lung disease (ILD), you probably have serious questions. Are there treatments that will reduce my fatigue and shortness of breath, so I can go about my life? Is there a way to keep my disease from getting worse? Will this disease shorten my life?

At Duke, our nationally ranked lung program has extensive experience helping people like you. While there is no cure for pulmonary fibrosis and other interstitial lung diseases, there are treatments that can help you control your symptoms, prevent complications, and slow disease progression. Our goal is to help you manage your disease and improve your quality of life.

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Treatments for Pulmonary Fibrosis and Interstitial Lung Disease

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

We offer supervised exercise, education, and tools to help you eat right, quit smoking, lose weight, and make other lifestyle changes. The goal is to improve your symptoms and help you keep your interstitial lung disease under control.


A variety of immunosuppressants and steroids are used to treat interstitial lung disease. These may be given in oral or IV form. In addition, two anti-scarring medicines are now available to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis -- pirfenidone (Esbriet) and nintedanib (OFEV).

Supplemental Oxygen

Receiving oxygen through a tube or mask can help you breathe easier and sleep better. Our triage nurses work closely with oxygen companies to help you obtain supplies and equipment.

Lung Transplant

If your interstitial lung disease is severe, you may be considered for a lung transplant. We are among the nation’s leaders in the number of lung transplants performed each year and in patient outcomes.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Tests for Pulmonary Fibrosis and Interstitial Lung Disease

Chest Radiograph (X-Ray)

Images of your lungs can reveal signs of interstitial lung disease, including inflammation and scarring.

CT Scan

A CT scan takes detailed 3D images to evaluate the extent of damage caused by interstitial lung disease.

Blood Tests

These tests identify autoimmune diseases and other conditions that may contribute to your symptoms and may help determine your response to specific therapies.

Pulmonary Function Tests

These breathing tests measure how much air your lungs can hold, how quickly you can move air in and out of your lungs, and how well your lungs move oxygen into, and carbon dioxide out of, your body.

Exercise Stress Test

This test monitors how your lungs function when you're active.

Lung Biopsy

Your doctor may need to remove a small amount of lung tissue for examination under a microscope. This is often the only way to diagnose interstitial lung disease accurately.

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Why Choose Duke

Personalized Care from a Team of Experts
Our pulmonologists have experience treating every stage of your disease. They partner with radiologists, cardiologists, pathologists, rehab specialists, and other professionals to develop a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs.

Access to the Latest Treatments
Our lung disease team in Durham frequently enrolls patients in clinical trials that test new treatments for pulmonary fibrosis and other interstitial lung diseases.

Tools and Support to Improve Your Quality of Life
Our pulmonary rehabilitation program helps you learn about your condition and make lifestyle changes so you can better control your interstitial lung disease and improve your quality of life.

Convenient, Coordinated Care
If you live outside the Raleigh-Durham area, we can coordinate your care with your local doctors.

A Leader in Lung Transplants
If you need a lung transplant, our transplant program ranks among the nation’s best, with survival rates above the national average and one of the shortest wait times in the U.S.

Best Hospital for Pulmonology and Lung Surgery in NC

Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our pulmonology and lung surgery program is nationally ranked, and the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2024–2025.

This page was medically reviewed on 10/29/2020 by