Acute interstitial pneumonia is a term that is used to describe widespread ALI of unknown etiology associated with a rapidly progressive clinical course. It is sometimes referred to as idiopathic ALI-DAD.
It is an uncommon disorder that occurs at a mean age of 59 years and has no sex predilection. Patients present with acute respiratory failure often following an illness of less than 3 weeks’ duration that resembles an upper respiratory tract infection.
The mortality rate varies from 33% to 74%, with most deaths occurring within 1 to 2 months. Recurrences and chronic interstitial disease may occur in the survivors.