Interstitial Lung Disease Program

UTHealth Houston Interstitial Lung Disease Program

UTHealth Houston Interstitial Lung Disease Program

What is Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)?

Interstitial lung disease (also known as ILD) is a wide-ranging category of over 100 respiratory problems characterized by inflammation deep in the lungs.  “Interstitial” means the spaces between the air sacs of the lungs. Usually, it is the spaces between the microscopic air sacs that become inflamed and diseased. Much of this process leads to permanent scarring of the lungs without proper treatment.

The terms and definitions of different types of ILD can be confusing to patients. Commonly, doctors refer to these lung diseases by their acronyms or letter abbreviations.  Here are some examples of ILD: nonspecific interstitial pneumonitis (NSIP), usual interstitial pneumonitis (UIP), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is also sometimes placed in the ILD category.

Mission of UTHealth Houston Interstitial Lung Disease Program

We break down our mission statement into four key focus areas: clinical care, community, education, and research.

Clinical Care:  To provide a compassionate, comprehensive, state of the art, and evidence-based approach to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD)

Community: To disseminate awareness and educate the public about the spectrum of interstitial lung disease (ILD)

Education: To train future specialist physicians in the diagnosis and empathetic treatment of patient living with interstitial lung disease (ILD)

Research: To advance the science and contribute to the knowledge in interstitial lung disease (ILD) through cooperative and multidisciplinary involvement in discovering novel ideas on the causes, mechanisms of disease development, and disease progression, all while exploring new avenues of treatment

What to Expect On Your Visit

Once you or your loved one visit with us, you should expect a thorough and detailed approach to patient care as you tell your story. Our doctors will ask deep interview questions about many aspects of your life to uncover what may contribute to the disease process. We will also conduct comprehensive tests and extensive evaluations, which may involve multidisciplinary cooperation (meaning discussion and collaboration with other physicians and experts) to help us know and understand what’s exactly going on inside your lungs. Expect a thoughtful and compassionate approach to your treatment, and be assured that we will be your partner in fighting this disease.

Together with our partners at Memorial Hermann Hospital – Texas Medical Center (TMC), our Lung Transplant Program provides the potential for a final cure: a comprehensive evaluation and assessment if your particular interstitial lung disease (ILD) progresses beyond the point that medicines do not work anymore.  In this case, a team of medical experts will then determine if a lung transplant is the best course of treatment for you or your loved one.

For more information on our Sarcoidosis Program, click here.

Meet Our Physicians

The physicians who are leading the UTHealth Houston Interstitial Lung Disease Program at UT Physicians are Dr. Rodeo Abrencillo, and Dr. Mira-Avendano.

Dr. Abrencillo is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Divisions of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Divisions at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and is currently serving as the Medical Director of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Clinical Care Center in Houston.  His specific area of interest is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and connective tissue disease related-interstitial lung disease.

Dr. Mira-Avendano, Associate Professor in Medicine, completed her Pulmonary and Critical Care Training at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH where she had the opportunity to receive additional training in Interstitial Lung Disease. She started as a Junior-Attending at Mayo Clinic Florida and created the Interstitial Lung Disease Program, being able to see significant number of patients while cooperating with the Rheumatology, Pulmonary Hypertension and Lung Transplant teams for over 8 years. She is an expert in all kinds of diffuse parenchymal lung disorders, including Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, cystic lung diseases, sarcoidosis and has a special interest in Connective Tissue Disease associated Interstitial Lung disease, with multiple publications in the field. She joined UT in 2020, and will be part of our Advanced Lung Disease Center of Excellence.

Location, Day and Times

UT Professional Building

6410 Fannin Street, Suite 600
Houston, TX 77030
Dr. Rodeo Abrencillo – Tuesday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Dr. Isabel Mira-Avendano – Thursday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Ph: 832-325-7222; Fax: 713-512-2247

Patient Resources on Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

Patient Resources on Lung Transplantation