Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) is a rare lung condition. It occurs when surfactant builds up in your lungs and clogs your air sacs, or alveoli. Surfactant is a natural substance that lowers surface tension in your lungs and allows you to breathe. The three main types of PAP are congenital, acquired, and secondary. The symptoms of PAP include:
• difficulty breathing, which is the most common symptom
• coughing, occasionally with mucus or blood
• a blue-tinged facial color
• general fatigue
• a low-grade fever
• weight loss
HOW IS PULMONARY ALVEOLAR PROTEINOSIS DIAGNOSED?
A pulmonologist would do a chest X-ray followed with scans to check the functioning of your lungs and sign of infection.
HOW IS PULMONARY ALVEOLAR PROTEINOSIS TREATED?
A surgical procedure called whole lung lavage is usually recommended as the best treatment for Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis. In this, the excess surfactant is washed away from the alveoli. But the doctor will have to be sure of the underlying cause of the condition to ensure that the condition does not relapse.
DID YOU KNOW?
Without treatment, there is a risk that the disease would lead to permanent lung failure and also affect other parts of the body.