The parallel lives of alpha§ssub§1§esub§-antitrypsin deficiency and pulmonary alveolar proteinosis

Bruce C. Trapnell, Maurizio Luisetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1963, five cases of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency were reported in the scientific literature, as well as an attempt to treat pulmonary alveolar proteinosis by a massive washing of the lung (whole lung lavage). Now, fifty years later, it seems the ideal moment not only to commemorate these publications, but also to point out the influence both papers had in the following decades and how knowledge on these two fascinating rare respiratory disorders progressed over the years. This paper is therefore not aimed at being a comprehensive review for both disorders, but rather at comparing the evolution of alpha1-antitrypsin, a rare disorder, with that of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, an ultra-rare disease. We wanted to emphasize how all stakeholders might contribute to the dissemination of the awareness of rare diseases, that need to be chaperoned from the ghetto of neglected disorders to the dignity of recognizable and treatable disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Alpha1-proteinase inhibitor
  • Pulmonary emphysema
  • Whole lung lavage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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