BACKGROUND:The purpose of this study was to investigate whether ultra-low-dose chest computed tomography (CT) can be used for visual assessment of CT features in patients with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) and to evaluate the relationship between the quantitative analysis of the ultra-low-dose CT scans and the pulmonary function tests (PFTs). METHODS:Thirty-eight patients (mean [SD] age, 44.47 [12.28] years; 29 males, 9 females) with PAP were enrolled and subjected to two scans each with low-dose CT (reference parameters: 120 kV and 50 mAs) and ultra-low-dose CT (reference parameters, 80 kV, 25 mAs). Images were reconstructed via filtered back projection (FBP) for low-dose CT and iterative reconstruction (IR) for ultra-low-dose CT. All patients underwent PFT. The Visual analysis for ground glass opacity (GGO) is performed. The quantitative CT and PFT results were analyzed by canonical correlations. RESULTS:The mean body mass index (BMI) was 25.37±3.26 kg/m2. The effective radiation doses were 2.30±0.46 and 0.24±0.05 mSv for low-dose and ultra-low-dose CT, respectively. The size-specific dose estimates were 5.81±0.81 and 0.62±0.09 mSv for low-dose and ultra-low-dose CT. GGOs and interlobular septal thickening were observed bilaterally in all patients. The average visual GGO score was lower in the upper field (2.67±1.24) but higher in the middle and lower fields (3.08±1.32 and 3.08±0.97, respectively). The average score for the whole lung was 2.94±1.19. There is a significant correlation between PFTs and quantitative of ultra-low-dose CT (canonical loading = 0.78). CONCLUSIONS:Ultra-low-dose CT has the potential to quantify the lung parenchyma changes of PAP. This technique could provide a sensitive and objective assessment of PAP and has good relation with PFTs. In addition, the radiation dose of ultra-low-dose CT was very low.