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Many people with COPD have a variety of related illnesses.  This list is designed to provide just the basic definitions of some of these complicating factors.

asbestosis - A respiratory disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.
aspergilloma (mycetoma) - A fungal mass that grows in pre-existing lung cavities, or can cause new lung cavities.
aspergillosis (acute invasive) - An acute infection caused by a fungus that produces illness almost exclusively in immunosuppressed or immunodeficient people.
aspergillosis (allergic) - An infection, colonization in the lung, or allergic response due to the aspergillus fungus.
atelectasis - The collapse of part or all of a lung by blockage of the larger or smaller air passages (bronchus or bronchioles), or by very shallow breathing. (See also pneumothorax.)
bronchiectasis – An acquired disorder of the large bronchi (airways) that become dilated after destructive infections of the lungs. Rarely, it may be congenital.
congestive heart failure (CHF) - A disorder in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood efficiently, thereby failing to meet the demands of the body.
cor pulmonale – Enlargement of the right ventricle that occurs because of pulmonary hypertension from lung disorders (most commonly chronic bronchitis, emphysema). This condition does not include right ventricle enlargement that results from congestive heart failure or heart valve disease. It is usually chronic (long-term), but it may be acute and reversible.
cystic fibrosis - Affects the exocrine (mucus and sweat) glands of the body and is caused by a defective gene. Thick mucus is formed in the bronchial tree which predisposes the person to chronic lung infections
eosinophilic pneumonia (Loeffler’s syndrome) - Acute pulmonary eosinophilia is a self-limiting inflammation of the lungs associated with infiltration of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell that increases in number in response to allergies or inflammation) in the lungs and blood.
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – An inflammation of the esophagus resulting from regurgitation of gastric contents into the esophagus.
heart disease – A disorder that affects the heart muscle or the blood vessels of the heart. A vascular disorder is a blood vessel problem such as poor circulation caused by blockage.
interstitial lung disease – The scarring and thickening of the deep lung tissues of unknown cause.
lung cancer - A malignant tumor that arises from lung tissue.
metastatic lung cancer - The process by which cancer cells are spread from another organ to the lungs.
necrotizing pneumonia - Aspiration pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and bronchial tubes caused by inhaling foreign material, usually food, drink, vomit, or secretions from the mouth into the lungs. This may progress to form a collection of pus in the lungs (lung abscess). 
plural effusion - An accumulation of fluid between the layers of the membrane lining the lung and the chest cavity.
pneumoconiosis (black lung disease; pneumoconiosis) - A respiratory disease caused by inhaling coal dust for prolonged periods.
pneumocystosis - An infection of the lungs caused by the microorganism Pneumocystis carinii.
pneumonia - An inflammation of the lungs caused by an infection.
pneumonia (in immunodeficient patient) - An inflammation of the lungs caused by infection, which occurs in a person whose mechanisms to fight infection are severely impaired.
pneumothorax - A collection of air or gas in the chest causing the lung to collapse.
pulmonary actinomycosis - An infection caused by Actinomyces israelii or related actinomycete bacteria that causes disease of the chest, mouth and jaw, and pelvis.
pulmonary alveolar proteinosis - A disease in which a phospholipid, a compound widely distributed in living cells, accumulates within alveolar spaces in the lung where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged.
pulmonary anthrax - A disease that affects mostly farm animals; humans acquire it through inhaling spores when in direct contact with infected animals.
pulmonary arteriovenous malformation - An abnormal passageway between an artery and vein that occurs in the blood vessels of the lungs.
pulmonary edema - A condition characterized by fluid accumulation in the lungs caused by back pressure in the lung veins.
pulmonary embolus - A blockage of an artery in the lungs by fat, air, tumor tissue, or blood clot. |
pulmonary histiocytosis X (eosinophilic granuloma) - Pulmonary histiocytosis is characterized by inflammation of the small airways (bronchioles) and the small blood vessels in the lungs. This inflammation leads to stiffening (fibrosis) and destruction of the walls of the alveoli.
pulmonary hypertension (idiopathic pulmonary hypertension) - A disorder in which the blood pressure in the pulmonary (lung) arteries is abnormally high in the absence of other diseases of the heart or lungs.
pulmonary nocardiosis - An infection of the lung; pneumonia that is caused by a fungus-like bacterium.
pulmonary tuberculosis - A contagious bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). The lungs are primarily involved, but the infection can spread to other organs.
pulmonary veno-occlusive disease - A progressive obstruction of the pulmonary veins.
rheumatoid lung disease - A disease that is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and includes pleural effusions, diffuse interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, and other rarer conditions.
silicosis - A granulomatous disease in which inflammation occurs in lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin and other tissues. 


Last modified: January 25, 2011

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