Therapeutic Effect of Whole Lung Lavage on Pneumoconiosis

Hongmei Zhang,1 *Pei Liu,2 Hongmei Zheng,3 Deng Chunyan,2 *Yanjun Zeng4

1. Department of Respiratory medicine, Taihe Hospital , Hubei University of Medicine, Hubei, China, Hongmei Zhang email:
2. Department of Intensive Care Unit, Taihe Hospital ,Hubei University of Medicine, Hubei, China, Pei Liu email:, Deng Chunyan email:
3. Department of Skill Training Center, Taihe Hospital , Hubei University of Medicine, Hubei, China, Hongmei Zheng email:
4. Biomechanics and Medical Information Institute, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China, Yanjun Zeng email:
*Correspondence to,
Yanjun Zeng conceived the initial idea and the study design. Pei Liu designed the study and contributed to data analysis. Chunyan Deng collected data. Hongmei Zhang collected data and drafted the manuscript.

Disclosure: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
Ethics Statement: Written consent was obtained from the family members of all patients and the study was approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of the Affiliated Taihe Hospital at Hubei University of Medicine.
Received: 18.02.16 Accepted: 19.09.16
Citation: EMJ Respir. 2016;4[1]:98-103.


Pneumoconiosis as an occupational disease is a serious threat to the health of workers. Patients with pneumoconiosis are mainly engaged in dust-related work such as gold, coal, or iron mining, electric welding, or road work, and present with miliary nodules, fuse mass-like opacities, and cavity lesions on chest imaging. Clinical manifestations of pneumoconiosis include progressive chest tightness, dyspnoea, chest pain, coughing, expectoration, fever, and hypodynamia. Pneumoconiosis patients are prone to respiratory tract infections (including bacterial pneumonia and tuberculosis) because of poor disease resistance and will eventually lose the ability to work and fully function in daily life completely. Patients can lose their life because of complications such as pulmonary heart disease and respiratory failure. Disease prevention is the main method to control pneumoconiosis.

We retrospectively analysed 516 cases of pneumoconiosis patients receiving whole lung lavage (WLL) procedure from May 2009–January 2015. The symptoms, pulmonary function, chest computed tomography manifestations, and living status were reviewed carefully. The improvement rate of chest tightness, chest pain, and dyspnoea was 99%, 90%, and 98%, respectively, 7 days after WLL procedure. The symptoms had improved in 235 patients at 3–6 months postoperatively. The therapeutic effect remained stable in 56 cases after 4–5 years. Chest tightness, chest pain, and dyspnoea were improved significantly, and pulmonary diffusion function and small airway resistance also improved. There was no progress in 62 patients 4–5 years postoperatively, as indicated by the chest computed tomography examination. Overall, WLL treatment is an effective method for treating pneumoconiosis.

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