Acute silicoproteinosis is a rare disease that occurs following a heavy inhalational exposure to silica dusts. Clinically, it resembles pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP); silica exposure is thought to be a cause of secondary PAP. We describe a patient with biopsy-confirmed acute silicoproteinosis whose course was complicated by acute hypoxemic respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. Without clinical improvement despite antibiotic and steroid treatment, the patient was scheduled for whole-lung lavage under general anesthesia. Anesthetic challenges included double-lumen tube placement and single-lung ventilation in a hypoxic patient, facilitating lung lavage, and protecting the contralateral lung from catastrophic spillage.
Keywords: critical care; noncardiac surgery; oxygen delivery; therapeutic impact; thoracic surgery.