Pulmonary and Critical Care

Patient Care

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine pulmonary and critical care medicine specialists are committed to the highest quality care for patients affected by disorders of the lungs and pulmonary system. As the only academic pulmonary and critical care medicine program in Las Vegas, we offer a broad range of specialized training in:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic cough
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Interventional pulmonology
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung transplant evaluation
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Smoking cessation

Our board-certified doctors are university-based and committed to acquiring the latest skills and research, giving our patients access to the most advanced treatments. Our compassionate physicians and staff carefully discuss all diagnostic and treatment strategies with patients and their families to establish the best individualized care plan.

Sarcoidosis Center

What is sarcoidosis?
Sarcoidosis is a disease that can affect any organ in the body. It is a disease that is still poorly understood and the cause is unknown. Through research, we have been able to understand that there is some association with genes that affect the immune system and some environmental factor that can trigger this disease.
How do we diagnose sarcoidosis?
The diagnosis of sarcoidosis is made by obtaining a biopsy from the affected organ. A biopsy will show a certain pattern of inflammation called granulomas under the microscope. Since certain infections can also cause granuloma, these possibilities have to be excluded before confirming the diagnosis of sarcoidosis.
How do we treat sarcoidosis?
Consultation with an expert who knows exactly when treatment is needed is important, as many sarcoidosis treatments can potentially have strong side effects.

Pulmonary Fibrosis, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), Interstitial Lung Disease Center

What is pulmonary fibrosis and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)?
Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition where scarring of lung tissue happens for many reasons known to the lung doctor. Sometimes the cause is unknown and this condition is called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). These scar tissues in the lungs are irreversible and make it hard for the lungs to bring in the oxygen into the blood, which can cause serious health problems or even death.
What is interstitial lung disease?
Interstitial lung disease is a condition that affects the tissue that connects the blood vessels and air sacs in the lung. If not treated, this can lead into pulmonary fibrosis, which is irreversible. Many reasons are known to cause this condition including such things as infections, occupational exposures (mining, asbestos, silica) inflammation, allergic conditions, rheumatologic conditions, drug side effects, and genetic disorders.
What are the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), and interstitial lung disease?
Most of the patients experience shortness of breath and cough. Other symptoms may include fever, fatigue and loss of appetite.
How do we diagnose pulmonary fibrosis, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, interstitial lung disease?
A complete evaluation of the disease history and physical examination with lung function test (a test to see the breathing function), blood tests, and imaging studies of the lungs with chest x-ray or CT scan is needed. Further testing with a bronchoscopy (small camera introduces into the lungs through the mouth) or in some cases surgery may be needed to get a biopsy of the lungs.
How do we treat pulmonary fibrosis, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, interstitial lung disease?
Treatment depends on the responsible cause. In general, an oral form of steroid medication may be used and antibiotics may also be necessary for treatment. However there is no completely effective treatment available with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). There are clinical trials that may be available for a drug that is in the testing phase to see if it will work in IPF. Lung transplantation is the only treatment that may improve the symptoms and chances of living longer. Other treatments include using oxygen and exercise.

Our experts

Dr. Shigemitsu is an internationally known expert on pulmonary fibrosis. He is an active investigator with many research projects across the world. He has also written many chapters and research papers on pulmonary fibrosis and lectures regularly. For more educational patient information on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), see the following document from the American College of Chest Physicians on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

Make an Appointment

Please contact one of our care centers for more information or to make an appointment.