Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis is defined as one of the rarely occurring kinds of lung diseases where the the alveoli is affected by the abnormal accumulation of pulmonary surfactant. The usual symptoms here are similar to that of pulmonary infection that include low grade fever, weight loss, lack of appetite, breathlessness, dyspnea and also acute cough that lingers for more than a few weeks.
HOW IS PULMONARY ALVEOLAR PROTEINOSIS DIAGNOSED?
A Pulmonologist diagnoses Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis on the basis of a chest X-ray, CT scan, blood test and bronchoscopy to obtain a fluid sample from the lungs.
HOW IS PULMONARY ALVEOLAR PROTEINOSIS TREATED?
In some cases, the symptoms of PAP are so mild that no treatment is necessary. The condition sometimes resolves without treatment. If you have certain mild symptoms, supplemental oxygen therapy may be enough to treat the condition. If you have severe symptoms, your doctor can wash the surfactant out of your lungs with a saline solution. Depending on the area affected, they may wash only part of your lung. If your entire lung needs to be cleaned, they'll use a procedure called “whole lung lavage.” In this procedure, they'll fill one of your lungs with saline solution and drain it, while keeping your other lung ventilated. One wash may be enough to clear your symptoms, but you'll most likely need multiple treatments. Your doctor may also prescribe a blood-stimulating medication, which is a newer treatment that has improved symptoms for some people. As a last resort, they may recommend a lung transplant.
DID YOU KNOW?
People who develop Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis have an increased risk of pneumonia.