The aim of the study was to investigate the therapeutic effect of whole-lung lavage (WLL) for pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP). The cohort studies that investigated the therapeutic effect of WLL for PAP were selected strictly on the basis of the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The statistical analysis was performed using STATA statistical software (version 12.0; Stata Corporation, College Station, TX). Twelve studies were included in this meta-analysis. Totally, 206 PAP patients who received WLL were recruited in the 12 studies. We compared the differences in blood gas analysis and lung function before and after the treatment in this meta-analysis. The results indicated that there were statistical differences in the levels of diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide, forced expiratory volume in 1 second, forced vital capacity, and arterial partial pressure of oxygen after the treatment of WLL for patients with PAP, whereas there were no evident differences in the levels of arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide and arterial oxygen saturation. In conclusion, WLL can evidently improve the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide, forced expiratory volume in 1 second, forced vital capacity, and arterial partial pressure of oxygen of patients with PAP, thus WLL may be an important treatment of PAP.
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