Inhaled GM-CSF for pulmonary alveolar proteinosis

Ryushi Tazawa, Takahiro Ueda, Mitsuhiro Abe, Koichiro Tatsumi, Ryosuke Eda, Shotaro Kondoh, Konosuke Morimoto, Takeshi Tanaka, Etsuro Yamaguchi, Ayumu Takahashi, Miku Oda, Haruyuki Ishii, Shinyu Izumi, Haruhito Sugiyama, Atsushi Nakagawa, Keisuke Tomii, Masaru Suzuki, Satoshi Konno, Shinya Ohkouchi, Naoki TodeTomohiro Handa, Toyohiro Hirai, Yoshikazu Inoue, Toru Arai, Katsuaki Asakawa, Takuro Sakagami, Atsushi Hashimoto, Takahiro Tanaka, Toshinori Takada, Ayako Mikami, Nobutaka Kitamura, Koh Nakata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis is a disease characterized by abnormal accumulation of surfactant in the alveoli. Most cases are autoimmune and are associated with an autoantibody against granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) that prevents clearing of pulmonary surfactant by alveolar macrophages. An open-label, phase 2 study showed some therapeutic efficacy of inhaled recombinant human GM-CSF in patients with severe pulmonary alveolar proteinosis; however, the efficacy in patients with mild-to-moderate disease remains unclear. METHODS We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of daily inhaled recombinant human GM-CSF (sargramostim), at a dose of 125 μg twice daily for 7 days, every other week for 24 weeks, or placebo in 64 patients with autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis who had a partial pressure of arterial oxygen (Pao2) while breathing ambient air of less than 70 mm Hg (or <75 mm Hg in symptomatic patients). Patients with severe pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (Pao2 <50 mm Hg) were excluded to avoid possible exacerbation of the disease in patients who were assigned to receive placebo. The primary end point was the change in the alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient between baseline and week 25. RESULTS The change in the mean (±SD) alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient was significantly better in the GM-CSF group (33 patients) than in the placebo group (30 patients) (mean change from baseline, −4.50±9.03 mm Hg vs. 0.17±10.50 mm Hg; P=0.02). The change between baseline and week 25 in the density of the lung field on computed tomography was also better in the GM-CSF group (between-group difference, −36.08 Hounsfield units; 95% confidence interval, −61.58 to −6.99, calculated with the use of the Mann-Whitney U test and the Hodges-Lehmann estimate of confidence intervals for pseudo-medians). Serious adverse events developed in 6 patients in the GM-CSF group and in 3 patients in the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS In this randomized, controlled trial, inhaled recombinant human GM-CSF was associated with a modest salutary effect on the laboratory outcome of arterial oxygen tension, and no clinical benefits were noted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-932
Number of pages10
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhaled GM-CSF for pulmonary alveolar proteinosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this