The Role of Small Airway Disease in Pulmonary Fibrotic Diseases.
Small airway disease (SAD) is a pathological condition that affects the bronchioles and non-cartilaginous airways 2 mm or less in diameter. These airways play a crucial role in respiratory function and are often implicated in various pulmonary disorders. Pulmonary fibrotic diseases are characterized by the thickening and scarring of lung tissue, leading to progressive respiratory failure. We aimed to present the link between SAD and fibrotic lung conditions. The evidence suggests that SAD may act as a precursor or exacerbating factor in the progression of fibrotic diseases. Patients with fibrotic conditions often exhibit signs of small airway dysfunction, which can contribute to worsening respiratory symptoms and decreased lung function. Moreover, individuals with advanced SAD are at a heightened risk of developing fibrotic changes in the lung. The interplay between inflammation, environmental factors, and genetic predisposition further complicates this association. The early detection and management of SAD can potentially mitigate the progression of fibrotic diseases, highlighting the need for comprehensive clinical evaluation and research. This review emphasizes the need to understand the evolving connection between SAD and pulmonary fibrosis, urging further detailed research to clarify the causes and potential treatment between the two entities.
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