Causes of non-specific interstitial pneumonia
Non-specific interstitial pneumonia can be associated with autoimmune diseases such as systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.
It can also be idiopathic, which means no specific cause can be identified.
People with NSIP are usually breathless and may have a cough. They may also experience other symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as skin rashes, joint pains, dry eyes, dry mouth, mouth ulcers and fatigue. Find out more about pulmonary fibrosis and its symptoms.
Typically, you will be offered a trial of immunosuppressive therapy, particularly if the NSIP is associated with an autoimmune disease.
You may also be offered pulmonary rehabilitation and oxygen therapy to help improve your quality of life.
Your medical team will monitor your lung disease regularly to determine if your treatment is effective.
In general, the life expectancy for NSIP is better than for people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Patients usually survive for five years after diagnosis, with 26-40% living for more than ten years. However, life expectancy is determined by rate of disease progression and response to treatment.
Other forms of pulmonary fibrosis
- COVID-19-related pulmonary fibrosis
- Drug-induced pulmonary fibrosis
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis-ILD
- Systemic sclerosis
Join a support group in your area
It’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are now over 75 pulmonary fibrosis support groups around the country.
Support groups meet informally to share experiences, provide expert information and raise funds and awareness. Find a group near you.
Call our support line
APF runs an email and telephone support line offering information and advice about living with PF. Find out more.
Find us on social media
Watch videos of how other people cope day to day with PF.