Whole-Lung Lavage



Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) is a disease characterized by the accumulation of amorphous lipoproteinaceous material in the alveoli. Whole-lung lavage (WLL) is the first line of treatment for patients symptomatic from PAP. The procedure involves intubating the patient with a double-lumen endotracheal tube to isolate the two lungs, ventilating one lung while performing a large-volume lavage (up to 20 L) of the other lung with warmed normal saline. Aliquots of 1 L on saline are instilled into the lung, chest percussion is performed, and the proteinaceous effluent is drained by gravity. The procedure is repeated for the contralateral lung. The process physically removes the amorphous material from the alveoli and improves oxygenation. Intraoperative refractory hypoxia is the most common complication of the procedure but tends to be self-limited and transient. If required by the severity of hypoxia, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) may be utilized to complete the procedure. There is a significant improvement, both clinically and radiologically, following the procedure. Some patients may require the procedure repeatedly during the course of the disease.


Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis Contralateral Lung Proteinaceous Material Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Respiratory, Critical Care and Occupational Pulmonary MedicineUniversity of Utah Health Sciences CenterSalt Lake CityUSA

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