Interstitial Lung Disease Care

Get groundbreaking treatments for interstitial lung diseases (ILD) like pulmonary fibrosis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Interstitial Lung Disease Care

Get groundbreaking treatments for interstitial lung diseases (ILD) like pulmonary fibrosis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Clinical Trials

Participate in one of our ILD clinical trials to get access to new therapies.

Join now

Comprehensive Care for over 200 Interstitial Lung Diseases

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is an umbrella term for more than 200 diseases that cause either inflammation or scarring of the lungs. These are serious lung disorders — like pulmonary fibrosis — that make it difficult to breathe.

One of the toughest challenges with interstitial lung diseases is diagnosing the cause of them to help stop the progression. The USC Interstitial Lung Disease Program offers advanced testing and diagnostics to evaluate your condition and to develop a treatment plan that works for you.

Using a collaborative approach to care, your medical team includes not only pulmonologists with a special interest in interstitial lung disease but also specialists in rheumatology, thoracic radiology, interventional pulmonology, thoracic surgery, pathology, social work, nutrition, pharmacy and more. All these experts work together to help manage your disease, including reducing or delaying damage to your lungs and improving your ability to exercise and breathe.

Our team’s goal is to help you:

  • Understand your complex, rare illness
  • Manage medications and their side effects
  • Reduce your medications, when possible, by starting therapies that do not use drugs, like pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Manage weight through healthy diet and eating-habit recommendations with a registered dietitian
  • Enroll in our groundbreaking clinical trials for ILD

Interstitial Lung Diseases We Treat

Our pulmonology experts treat over 200 interstitial lung diseases, including:

  • Acute interstitial pneumonia
  • Autoimmune interstitial lung diseases, occurring due to:
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonias
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM)
  • Post COVID-19 interstitial lung disease
  • Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Vasculitis

Treatments We Offer for Interstitial Lung Disease

  • Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) medications and drug treatments
  • Interventional pulmonology
  • Lung transplant
  • Nutrition support
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Treatment for interstitial lung disease–related pulmonary hypertension

A Comprehensive Team to Support Your Care

Your medical team includes a diverse group of doctors, surgeons, lung specialists, clinicians and support staff, who use a collaborative, patient-focused approach to care. All the following experts work together to help manage your disease, including reducing or delaying damage to your lungs and improving your ability to exercise and breathe.


Our pulmonologists are physicians who specialize in diseases that affect the respiratory system. They are trained to expertly diagnose and help you manage a wide variety of respiratory illnesses, including different kinds of interstitial lung disease (ILD).


Our rheumatologists are physicians who provide care for patients with inflammatory and immune-related conditions. Sometimes, an inflammatory condition or your treatment for your inflammatory condition can also cause you to develop an interstitial lung disease. Our rheumatologists work with other members of the ILD team to manage your respiratory symptoms.

Thoracic Radiologists

Thoracic radiology involves imaging of the chest, including the heart, lungs and blood vessels in the chest. We use imaging tools, such as chest X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans and positron-emission tomography (PET) scans, to help diagnose various respiratory illnesses and create treatment plans and follow-up care tailored to you. Our thoracic radiologists work closely with our pulmonologists to discuss complicated cases during our monthly multidisciplinary conference about interstitial lung disease.

Interventional Pulmonologists

Our interventional pulmonologists are specially trained pulmonologists, who have expertise in performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures involving the airways, lungs and pleura (the lining surrounding the lungs). They work closely with your pulmonologist, playing a key role in your diagnosis if additional samples are needed from your lungs.

Thoracic Surgeons

Our thoracic surgeons specialize in surgeries of the lungs, pleura and upper gastrointestinal system. They perform procedures that can assist with your diagnosis. Cardiothoracic surgeons, in addition to doing heart surgeries, are also involved in lung and heart transplants. You will need to be referred for a lung transplant based on the severity of your illness. Our surgeons work closely with our transplant pulmonologists and interstitial lung disease pulmonologists to evaluate you for a potential lung transplant.


Pathologists are physicians who assist with your diagnosis by assessing specimens obtained from diagnostic procedures and testing. They review the samples obtained by our interventional pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons to help with making a diagnosis. They also participate in our monthly conference.


Our pharmacists have special expertise in medications that treat interstitial lung disease. In addition to administering your medication, we offer counseling to help you properly administer your medications, identify your side effects and mitigate them however possible. Our pharmacists assist the medical team in identifying potential interactions that could occur between drugs used for your treatment.

Respiratory Therapists

A respiratory therapist provides help if you have trouble breathing. Typically, your doctor will consult with our respiratory therapist to get a history of your breathing issues, manage appropriate testing, order any needed breathing or oxygen equipment and instruct on delivery and usage of this equipment. Your respiratory therapist can help set you up with a plan of care, which can involve starting oxygen, learning techniques for airway clearance, learning exercises to help you cough more effectively or enrolling you in a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Your respiratory therapist’s primary job is to improve your breathing and your quality of life.

Registered Dietitians

Our dietitians specializing in lung disease can provide nutritional guidance and recommendations for improving your condition. Interstitial lung disease can cause coughing or shortness of breath, which can lead to weight loss. Other times, you may need to lose excess weight that compresses against your lung and chest cavity in order to improve your breathing. We can also provide diet recommendations to improve gastrointestinal complaints that may be caused by your medications.

Social Workers

Our pulmonary social workers are available to provide you with education, emotional support and resources relating to interstitial lung disease. They aim to understand, empower and advocate for you, to help you better cope with your diagnosis and increase your quality of life.

Patient Resources

Our Support Group Meetings

Our support groups offer opportunities for you to meet, connect and share information and resources with other people living with interstitial lung diseases. Our meetings take place every 3 months and are held online via Zoom or Teams.

If you would like to sign up or receive more information about our support groups, please email Lorelie Evangelista at

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Support Groups

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) hosts four monthly Zoom support groups for anyone who is affected by pulmonary fibrosis. If you are not able to attend an in-person group, or simply want more opportunities for support between meetings, consider joining one of the PFF’s monthly support group calls.

All groups offer you a valuable forum to share information and provide support to one another from the comfort of your own home. Registration is not required to participate, and call-in information and meeting times are the same each month.

Click here to find a PFF support group.

Clinical Trials

Participate in one of our ILD clinical trials to get access to new therapies.

Join now

Ongoing clinical trials on interstitial lung diseases (ILD) to join


ILD support groups for patients to attend per year


Types of interstitial lung diseases treated at Keck Medicine


Specialist teams work together to give you comprehensive lung care

Global leaders in ILD research and treatment

Our program is 1 of only 5 programs in California to be accredited by the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Center Network, which provides a large network of patient support, resources and education.

We are distinguished as a World Association for Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders (WASOG) Center of Excellence, due to our high-quality treatment and support services for pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis.

We lead the way in research for interstitial lung disease, with more than 12 clinical trials happening at Keck Medicine.

With more than 20 years of experience in rare lung diseases, our doctors can tailor an effective and personalized treatment plan to help you manage your ILD.

Our doctors are global leaders in the field, regularly speaking at international meetings and publishing their research in top scientific journals (including The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet Respiratory Medicine).

Your care team includes experts who sit on the international guidelines committee for treating interstitial lung diseases.

Our lung transplant program is a designated Anthem Center of Medical Excellence and part of Aetna’s Institutes of Excellence network, providing you with advanced care if you require transplant as part of your ILD treatment.

Our Team

Kavitha Bagavathy, MD

Accepting new patients
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine (Clinician Educator ...
Pulmonary Critical Care, Pulmonary Medicine, Pulmonology

Toby Michael Maher, MD, PhD

Accepting new patients
Professor of Clinical Medicine
Pulmonary Critical Care, Pulmonology, Pulmonary Medicine

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