The interstitial lung disease (ILD) unit at Royal Brompton Hospital is the largest unit of its kind in Europe with more than 4,000 patients and is the only unit in the UK dedicated to the management of patients with fibrosing lung disease.
In the past decade, Royal Brompton Hospital has been at the forefront of the developments made in the diagnosis and treatment of ILD.
Meet the ILD team
Professor Athol Wells (clinical and academic lead for ILD)
Clinical nurse specialist
Read about patient and public involvement in our interstitial lung disease research in the Respiratory Research Centre.
Royal Brompton's interstitial lung disease unit has expertise in the specialist management of a wide range of these interstitial and rare lung diseases, including:
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
- Non-specific interstitial pneumonitis (NSIP)
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE)
- Connective tissue disease-associated lung disease
- Vasculitis associated lung disease
- Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM)
- Langerhan’s cell histiocytosis
- Alveolar proteinosis
- Drug-induced lung disease
- Cryptogenic organising pneumonia (COP)
- Alveolar microlithiasis
The ILD unit at Royal Brompton Hospital provides a consultant-led service advising on the diagnosis and management of interstitial lung diseases and their complications. This includes medications like corticosteroids and antibiotics and physiotherapy. If impairment is severe, lung transplantation is considered.
Royal Brompton Hospital’s interstitial lung disease unit played a central part in the reclassification of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and the related idiopathic interstitial pneumonias in 2001.
Subsequent research at Royal Brompton has confirmed the key criteria essential for diagnosing and predicting disease progression in IPF. The unit is involved in active research to better understand IPF (including the PROFILE study and the EuroIPF network study) and in recruiting patients for clinical trials (B-PHIT).
For further information on ongoing clinical trials within the unit, please contact Dr Toby Maher.
The ILD unit runs a Thursday afternoon sarcoid clinic.
This is the largest dedicated sarcoid clinic of its kind in the UK. We have particular expertise in the management of chronic and multi-organ sarcoidosis and run monthly combined cardiac-sarcoid and neuro-sarcoid clinics.
We also have close links with dermatologists and ear nose and throat surgeons based at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for the shared care of individuals with sarcoid affecting the skin and upper respiratory tract.
Cardiac sarcoidosis is where the myocardium is involved in sarcoidosis. Read more about our cardiac sarcoidosis clinics, including what to expect and how to refer patients to our specialist team.
Scleroderma associated interstitial lung disease
The ILD unit has close and longstanding links with the scleroderma unit at the Royal Free Hospital and has established considerable expertise in the management of scleroderma-associated pulmonary fibrosis.
Royal Brompton Hospital was the lead centre in the recently published FAST trial that established the currently used treatment regimen for progressive scleroderma-associated lung disease.
More recently we have identified the key clinical features that predict patients with more progressive lung disease.
Read more about scleroderma on our patient pages.
Interstitial lung disease associated pulmonary hypertension
There is a close link between the interstitial lung disease unit and Royal Brompton's Pulmonary Hypertension Service with a shared clinic on Tuesday mornings. Our units have an overlapping research programme exploring the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension in patients with interstitial lung disease.
Research, training and education
Royal Brompton’s ILD unit is at the forefront of clinical and translational research in interstitial lung disease. We frequently publish in the leading international journals and present data at international conferences. We have active collaborations with a number of other specialist units worldwide.
Current research includes:
- Biomarker discovery in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Exploration of the factors that drive the development of pulmonary hypertension in patients with pulmonary fibrosis
- Investigations into the mechanisms that determine the development of fibrosis in patients with scleroderma
Members of the ILD unit were involved in the writing of the British Thoracic Society (BTS) guidelines on interstitial lung disease and are actively involved in the development of the American Thoracic Society / European Respiratory Society Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Guidelines.
Consultants from the unit are frequently invited to speak at national and international conferences. The unit has a long record of training UK and overseas clinicians in the diagnosis and management of fibrosing lung disease.
The ILD unit, in association with the BTS, has organised educational courses for interstitial lung disease and organised the 2011 BTS British Orphan Lung Disease course.
The following links to external websites related to interstitial lung disease may be of interest:
Interstitial lung disease unit
Lind ward, Fulham wing (South block), Royal Brompton Hospital, SW3 6NP
Telephone: 020 7351 8327
Fax: 020 7351