Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis and aluminum dust exposure

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1984 Aug;130(2):312-5. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1984.130.2.312.


A 44-yr-old male presented with shortness of breath, diffuse X-ray infiltrates, and physiologic evidence of a restrictive lung disease. Biopsy revealed pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. The patient had worked for the previous 6 yr as an aluminum rail grinder in a very dusty environment. Analysis of his lung tissue revealed greater than 300 X 10(6) particles of aluminum/g dry lung; all of the particles appeared as spheres of less than 1 mu diameter. We believe that this case represents an example of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis induced by inhalation of aluminum particles; this finding confirms animal studies which suggest that proteinosis can be produced by very large doses of many types of finely divided mineral dust.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aluminum / adverse effects*
  • Aluminum / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Dust / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Humans
  • Lung / analysis
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis / etiology*
  • Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis / pathology


  • Dust
  • Aluminum