Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare lung disease of unknown origin that affects young women. In LAM, smooth muscle cells grow abnormally, leading to gradual obstruction of the airways and lesions in the lungs. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and/or coughing, and may be worse upon exertion. Patients may experience shortness of breath from fluid accumulation around the lungs, or chest pain from a collapsed lung.
What can be done for it?
It is thought the disease may be driven by estrogen or progesterone. Therefore, hormonal therapy may be offered. Some patients may be candidates for lung transplantation. Cleveland Clinic pulmonologists are participating in an NIH-sponsored registry and clinical trial group for this rare disease.