The role of bronchoalveolar lavage in the diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia

European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases : Official Publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology
J M Sanchez Nieto, A Carillo Alcaraz

Abstract

Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) has become an invaluable diagnostic tool with important clinical implications in both opportunistic infections and the pulmonary pathology of immunologic disease. Until recently, the use of BAL was limited primarily to two areas: the study of interstitial lung diseases and the diagnosis of lung infections by opportunistic microorganisms in severely immunocompromised patients with lung infiltrates. Over the past decade, the use of BAL has been expanded to include the conventional diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia in non-immunocompromised patients. In the past, different clinical studies proposed using BAL to quantify cultures in the sample obtained as a means of increasing the tool's effectiveness. Recent developments have led to a number of newer applications of BAL, such as bronchoscopic BAL, non-bronchoscopic BAL and protected BAL. The most important use of BAL in the non-immunocompromised patient is the diagnosis of pneumonia in the mechanically ventilated patient.

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Related Concepts

Microorganism
Immune System Diseases
Lung
Bronchoalveolar Lavage
Infiltration
Lung Diseases
Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
Pneumonia, Bacterial
Opportunistic Infections
Bronchial Lavage

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