How is the mnemonic PAINT used to divide the causes of restrictive lung disease?

Updated: Sep 16, 2020
  • Author: Jonathan Robert Caronia, DO; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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The many disorders that cause reduction or restriction of lung volumes may be divided into two groups based on anatomical structures.

The first is intrinsic lung diseases or diseases of the lung parenchyma. The diseases cause inflammation or scarring of the lung tissue (interstitial lung disease) or result in filling of the air spaces with exudate and debris (pneumonitis). These diseases can be characterized according to etiological factors. They include idiopathic fibrotic diseases, connective-tissue diseases, drug-induced lung disease, environmental exposures (inorganic and organic dusts), and primary diseases of the lungs (including sarcoidosis).

The second is extrinsic disorders or extrapulmonary diseases. The chest wall, pleura, and respiratory muscles are the components of the respiratory pump, and they need to function normally for effective ventilation. Diseases of these structures result in lung restriction, impaired ventilatory function, and respiratory failure (eg, nonmuscular diseases of the chest wall, neuromuscular disorders).

The mnemonic "PAINT" has been used to divide the causes of restrictive lung disease into pleural, alveolar, interstitial, neuromuscular, and thoracic cage abnormalities.

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