A large number of diseases produce a diffuse infiltration of the lung. Some are primarily lung disorders and others are manifestations of diseases arising elsewhere. The spectrum of pathologic change includes inflammation, malignant degeneration, fibrosis, and accumulation of materials such as lipid, protein, and fluid. Many of the various infiltrative disease exhibit some common clinical, radiologic, physiologic, and at times pathologic findings. Examples of some diseases associated with the diffuse pulmonary infiltrates are discussed. Each disease has certain unique features but they all have common features as well, primarily in the appearance of the chest x-ray film and in alteration of lung function.
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