Not all cases of cough and breathlessness are TB: Lung doctorUpdated: Jul 29, 2018 22:53 IST
Pulmonologist from Seattle (USA), Dr Ganesh Raghu, in a two-day meeting on Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILD) in Jaipur, said physicians and pulmonologists should have a better understanding of the disease in India.
Dr Raghu said that doctors in India should be able to diagnose the disease in its early stages, that mostly affects the young generation. “If ILD is not detected early, it becomes chronic and medicines stop working. In such a situation, long transplant is the only alternative,” he said.
Around 50 pulmonologists from across the country and abroad gathered for the two-day meet organised by Indian Chest Society and National College of Chest Physician at Asthma Bhawan in Jaipur, to have brainstorming sessions on ILDs; how to identify this disease, diagnose accurately and treat the patients.
In ILD, alveolar walls are swollen and scarred as a result of which blood does not get enough oxygen.The lungs, in turn, shrink and harden. There are different types of ILDs such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), connective tissue associated ILD, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), non specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP), sarcoidosis, cryptogenic organising pneumonia (COP), pneumoconiosis and others.
If any person coughs and has breathlessness, it is considered to be tuberculosis, the most prevalent lung disease in India. But doctors should identify the disease properly before starting the treatment, Dr Raghu said.
“The drugs for ILD are very expensive in USA - it is 10,000 dollars for 60 tablets per month. In India it will cost
Rs 70,000-80,000 per month,” he said.
Dr SK Jindal from Post Graduate Institute of Medical and Research, Chandigarh, said, ILD has increased by two to four times in the country and to diagnose this disease, high resolution computed tomography (CT) scan and bronchoscopy is mandatory. ILD India coordinator Dr Virendra Singh said, taking serious ILD patients under ventilation is not much beneficial.
Organising secretary Dr Sheetu Singh said, “A detailed document of the two-day meeting will be prepared and published in the journal.”
Experts are of the opinion that doctors should have a better understanding of the disease and work on better modes of treatment. Patients are advised to go to regular check-ups, use clean air-conditioners, stay away from pigeons and bird droppings to keep ILD at bay.