Pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare lung disease that is most commonly found in women in their mid-thirties and forties. It is a disorder that causes the growth of cysts composed of smooth muscle and blood vessels in the lungs as well as the abdomen. LAM is a progressive disease with no known cure and can destroy lung tissue.
Symptoms may include shortness of breath, cough, collapsed lung, chest pains and fatigue. In some women with LAM, smooth muscle growth around kidneys may also lead to kidney failure if not discovered early. LAM is genetically related to a neurologic disease known as tuberous sclerosis which can cause seizures and has smooth muscle tumors in the central nervous system.
Some patients with tuberous sclerosis with also have cyst like changes of LAM in their lungs, however, most women diagnosed with LAM in adult life do not have tuberous sclerosis.