Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Respiration; international review of thoracic diseases
New therapies have emerged in the treatment of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) and, therefore, there is a real need to evaluate the efficacy of whole-lung lavage (WLL) in this rare disease.The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of WLL in patients with PAP.We included 33 patients from 12 centers, which are members of the French-Speaking Thoracic Endoscopy Group, for analysis. Data collection concerned patients and disease characteristics, pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and technical information on the procedure.The median age of the patients was 44 years (range 13-77). There were 23 (71.9%) patients with respiratory insufficiency at presentation. All patients underwent WLL by general anesthesia and selective lung ventilation, except 1 who underwent awake flexible bronchoscopy. We noted differences in the technique, as 12 (36.36%) patients had percussion during the procedure and only 4 (12.1%) patients underwent 2-lung lavage during 1 anesthesia. A median of 12 L was used to perform WLL (1.0-40 L). Complications occurred in 11 (33.3%) patients, and 18 (56.25%) of them relapsed in a median period of 16.9 months. No significant changes were found in any PFT parameters studied, except for PaO2, which was significantly improved by 6.375 mm Hg (p = 0.0213) after the procedure compared to before.Although the application of the WLL technique was variable, overall, it significantly improved patients' short-term respiratory condition by improving PaO2. However, a long-term effect needs to be confirmed, as many of our patients relapsed.