Acute lung dysfunction of noninfectious etiology, known as idiopathic pneumonia syndrome (IPS), is a severe complication following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Several mouse models have been recently developed to determine the underlying causes of IPS. A cohesive interpretation of experimental data and their relationship to the findings of clinical research studies in humans is needed to better understand the basis for current and future clinical trials for the prevention/treatment of IPS. Our goal was to perform a comprehensive review of the preclinical (i.e., murine models) and clinical research on IPS. An ATS committee performed PubMed and OVID searches for published, peer-reviewed articles using the keywords "idiopathic pneumonia syndrome" or "lung injury" or "pulmonary complications" AND "bone marrow transplant" or "hematopoietic stem cell transplant." No specific inclusion or exclusion criteria were determined a priori for this review. Experimental models that reproduce the various patterns of lung injury observed after HSCT have identified that both soluble and cellular inflammatory mediators contribute to the inflammation engendered during the development of IPS. To date, 10 preclinical murine models of the IPS spectrum have been established using various donor and host strain combinations used to study graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). This, as well as the demonstrated T cell dependency of IPS development in these models, supports the concept that the lung is a target of immune-mediated attack after HSCT. The most developed therapeutic strategy for IPS involves blocking TNF signaling with etanercept, which is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. IPS remains a frequently fatal complication that limits the broader use of allogeneic HSCT as a successful treatment modality. Faced with the clinical syndrome of IPS, one can categorize the disease entity with the appropriate tools, although cases of unclassifiable IPS will remain. Significant research efforts have resulted in a paradigm shift away from identifying noninfectious lung injury after HSCT solely as an idiopathic clinical syndrome and toward understanding IPS as a process involving aspects of both the adaptive and the innate immune response. Importantly, new laboratory insights are currently being translated to the clinic and will likely prove important to the development of future strategies to prevent or treat this serious disorder.