Whole-lung Lavage and Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis: Review of Clinical and Patient-centered Outcomes

Bradford B. Smith, Norman E. Torres, Joseph A. Hyder, David W. Barbara, Shane M. Gillespie, Mark E. Wylam, Mark M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this retrospective review was to evaluate the perioperative and procedural management of patients with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) who presented for whole-lung lavage (WLL). Design: The records of all adult patients with PAP who underwent WLL between January 1, 1988 and August 20, 2017 were reviewed and pertinent demographic, preoperative, anesthetic, procedural, and postoperative data were recorded. Setting: Large academic tertiary referral center. Participants: Forty patients with PAP underwent 79 WLL procedures. Interventions: Patients with PAP undergoing WLL. Measurements: Successful WLL, defined by visual clearing of lavage fluid, was completed in 91% of cases. Whole-lung lavage was terminated prematurely in 9% of cases (refractory hypoxia most common), while 8% of cases were found to have 30-day complications. There were no cases of intraoperative death, hemodynamic collapse, pneumothorax or hydrothorax, or need for emergent reintubation. Postoperative clinical follow-up at the authors’ institution within 6 months of WLL showed 68% of patients reported improvement in symptoms and/or functional status. Conclusion: The authors here present a retrospective study describing the perioperative and procedural management of PAP patients undergoing WLL to help familiarize providers with the management of this population (Fig 1). The findings of this study outline a successful and consistent approach to WLL using a multidisciplinary team experienced in this procedure. Even in experienced hands, procedural complications and 30-day postoperative complications emphasize the risk in this complex patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2453-2461
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
  • whole lung lavage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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