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      Lobar flexible fiberoptic lung lavage: therapeutic benefit in severe respiratory failure in pulmonary alveolar proteinosis and influenza A H1N1 pneumonia


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          Lobar fiberoptic lung lavage is a well-known procedure used in primary pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP); the use of this procedure has increased in the recent years. This procedure has also been used in other pulmonary diseases such as desquamative interstitial pneumonia with good results. We describe a case of extremely severe respiratory failure due to concurrence of PAP and Influenza A H1N1 virus pneumonia which resolved with the help of this procedure. The patient, a 41-year-old woman, needed less mechanical ventilation after undergoing lobar fiberoptic bronchoscopic lavage. Moreover, a rapid and progressive improvement in the computed tomography of the lungs was observed. Flexibile fiberoptic bronchoscopic lobar lavage is a simple, safe procedure used not only in milder disease, but also in particular severe cases in which the physiological derangement of whole lung lavage would not be tolerated by patient or when extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation is not available.

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          From the archives of the AFIP: pulmonary alveolar proteinosis.

          Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) may develop in a primary (idiopathic) form, chiefly during middle age, or less commonly in the setting of inhalational exposure, hematologic malignancy, or immunodeficiency. Current research supports the theory that PAP is the result of pathophysiologic mechanisms that impair pulmonary surfactant homeostasis and lung immune function. Clinical symptomatology is variable, ranging from mild progressive dyspnea to respiratory failure. There is a strong association with tobacco use. The predominant computed tomographic feature of PAP is a "crazy-paving" pattern (smoothly thickened septal lines on a background of widespread ground-glass opacity), often with lobular or geographic sparing. The radiologic differential diagnosis of crazy-paving includes pulmonary edema, pneumonia, alveolar hemorrhage, diffuse alveolar damage, and lymphangitic carcinomatosis. Definitive diagnosis is made with lung biopsy or bronchoalveolar lavage specimens that reveal intraalveolar deposits of proteinaceous material, dissolved cholesterol, and eosinophilic globules. Symptomatic treatment includes whole-lung lavage, and multiple procedures may be required. New therapies directed toward the identified defect in immune defense have met with moderate clinical success.
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            Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis in China: a systematic review of 241 cases.

            Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) is a rare pulmonary disease. It was first described in China in 1965, and more cases have been reported subsequently. A systematic review was performed on 241 cases of PAP in China and progress in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease is discussed. The Chinese biological and medical databases from 1965 to 2006 were searched and 241 cases with complete clinical and pathological data were identified. The clinical characteristics of the disease were summarized and longitudinal comparisons were made of diagnostic and treatment methods over time. The morbidity associated with PAP has increased in recent years. The clinical manifestations were non-specific. Progressive dyspnoea, cough and sputum were the most common symptoms. The percentage of patients undergoing CT examination has increased over the years. The combination of bronchoscopic biopsy and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was usually sufficient to establish the diagnosis. Treatment was reported for a total of 142 cases. BAL and whole lung lavage were both effective and were only required once by most patients. The demographic characteristics and clinical manifestations of PAP patients in China are largely consistent with previous reports. Morbidity has increased dramatically in recent years, mainly due to the broad application of bronchoscopy since 1995. CT is very important for diagnosis of the disease. The long-term effects of treatment by whole lung lavage and BAL are similar.
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              Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis: treatment by bronchofiberscopic lobar lavage.

              The current mainstay of treatment for pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) is whole-lung lavage. Therapy with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor is a possibility, although its long-term safety has not been determined. An alternative procedure is selected lobar lavage by fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB). We report here our experiences with lobar lavage by FOB in treating three patients with PAP. PAP was diagnosed in three patients (two men, one woman) who had dyspnea and hypoxemia after undergoing open-lung biopsy. The patients underwent lobar lavage by FOB under local anesthesia. The bronchoscope was wedged into a lobar bronchus. Approximately 2,000 mL warm normal saline solution was instilled via syringe in 50-mL aliquots through a fiberoptic bronchoscope. After undergoing multiple lobar lavages, two patients showed clinical, physiologic, and radiologic improvement. The third patient, who had more advanced disease, showed improvement only in oxygenation. The major complications were severe cough and hypoxemia during lavage. Our experience suggests that bronchoscopic lobar lavage is simple and safe, and may find application in patients in whom a whole-lung lavage with generalized anesthesia may be hazardous, and in patients with less advanced disease whose proteinaceous substances can be removed with a small volume of lavage fluid.

                Author and article information

                Clin Pract
                Clin Pract
                Clinics and Practice
                PAGEPress Publications (Pavia, Italy )
                01 July 2011
                01 July 2011
                : 1
                : 3
                : e53
                [1 ]Division of Respiratory Diseases, Hospital of Sestri Levante;
                [2 ]Forensic Medicine Unit, Chiavari, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Antonello Nicolini, Division of Respiratory Diseases Hospital of Sestri Levante, Italy. +39.018.5329856. antonello.nicolini@ 123456fastwebnet.it

                Contributions: AN, full access to all the data; CB, study concept; AN, CB, responsibility for data integrity and manuscript drafting.

                Conflict of interest: the authors report no conflicts of interest.

                ©Copyright A.Nicolini and C. Barlascini, 2011

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 3.0 License (CC BY-NC 3.0).

                Licensee PAGEPress, Italy

                : 05 April 2011
                : 21 June 2011
                Case Report

                lexible fiberoptic lobar bronchoscopic lavage,pulmonary alveolar proteinosis,influenza a h1n1 pneumonia.


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