UF Health’s pediatric diffuse lung disease, or DLD, program is the first in Florida devoted to caring for children with DLD. DLD, which is sometimes referred to as interstitial lung disease, or ILD, is an umbrella term used for a group of rare, but potentially severe and even fatal. lung diseases that can affect infants and children. Management of these patients requires unique clinical expertise and a leading-edge diagnostic and therapeutic approach.
Our multidisciplinary team consists of a pediatric pulmonologist, pediatric radiologist, pedaitric pathologist, pediatric surgeon and pediatric rheumatologist, who have the experience needed to diagnose and care for children with this group of very challenging disease entities. Our team works closely with the pediatric lung transplant program since some of these children may ultimately require lung transplant. We provide clinical services for a group of relatively rare conditions that include congenital and genetic diseases (i.e., surfactant protein deficiencies), disorders of lung growth abnormalities, disorders ot autoimmune etiologies (i.e., systemic sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus), and disorders of the immune-compromised host and organ transplant complications (i.e., constrictive bronchiolitis). All of these conditions can result in DLD and can lead to severe lung injury that requires early diagnosis and treatment.
We work in collaboration with other nationally leading programs in DLD, as well as the Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease, or chILD, Foundation, which is a national foundation established to promote care and research in the field. Our goal is to be recognized by the chILD Foundation as an accredited center for pediatric DLD, which we believe we will achieve in the near future. Being part of the chILD registry will provide us with a tremendous database for clinical and basic research on a national level.