The gaseous exchange surface of the lung is exposed to many environmental insults and several respiratory disease are a result of inflammation induced by allergens (generically, pneumoconiosis, with distinct forms such as anthracosis, aspergillosis, asbestosis, bagassosis, beryllicosis, farmer's lung, siderosis, and silicosis.) Asthma may be triggered by allergens, Goodpasture's syndrome can affect the lung. The lung is protected by the bronchus associated lymphoid tissue and surfactant proteins produced by Clara cells are essential to prevent the lung from filling with fluid (see hyaline membrane disease). Persistent inflammation in the lung can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema (see alpha-1-antitrypsin) and when triggered by asbestos can lead to mesothelioma. Lung infections include histoplasmosis, pneumonia, SARS, tuberculosis, and influenza. Systemic inflammation can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome. The lungs are one of the major systems affected in cystic fibrosis.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.