Bronchoalveolar Lavage Definition, Indications,Procedure, Fluid Analysis


Broncho alveolar lavage is considered as the tool to diagnose any kind of lung infection. It was 1st introduced to check any kind of infection in animal lungs but now a days it is also used as a useful tool to check any lung infection in human. Basically Broncho alveolar lavage is a procedure which is performed to take sample of secretions or fluid within lungs and perform different tests on it. This technique is also used to clear the lungs from secretions or fluid filled in it i.e. washing of the lungs. As it is performed for the purpose of washing that’s why it is also known as “Broncho alveolar washing” The pulmonary sampling is only allowed when lungs show response of B & T cells, immunoglobulin and lung macrophages.

This technique is considered very useful but it can also cause some complications like adverse reaction towards lidocaine and midazolam, complication in pregnancy and poor nutrition, pulmonary hypertension and obstruction of superior vena cava. After Broncho alveolar procedure, it may show some side effects like nausea, vomiting, hemorrhage, pneumonia, epistaxis and last but not least mild discomfort. This procedure is also used to check protein composition of lung lining.

Bronchoalveolar Lavage Definition, Indications,Procedure, Fluid Analysis

Bronchoalveolar Lavage Indications


The most common purpose, for which the broncho alveolar lavage is performed, is the sampling of lung fluid and washing of lung. Broncho alveolar lavage is preferred to perform when patient have any pulmonary infection, and infection normally occurs in person with problems in immune system. It is recommended when the patient is on ventilator and suffering from pneumonia, also preferred in lung cancer and any interstitial pulmonary disease. Broncho alveolar lavage is also performed when there is a suspect of alveolar hemorrhage and as a solution to pneumonia when it is not resolving with medications

Bronchoalveolar Lavage Procedure


The person whose operation is to be held have to go through local anesthesia. The blood pressure and pulse rate is checked before the procedure start. The patient is asked to get set in spine position. Then the patient is injected with benzodiazepine to reduce the chances of cough and also or the comfort of patient. Take 20ml of saline solution in the bronchoscope (the tube which is to be enter into the lung through nose), now gently suck the fluid from the lung and collect it into the empty chamber attached. Repeat as many times needed.

Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid Analysis


When the fluid is collected the analysis is done. The fluid collected will settle down into 2 layers which will be brownish or sandy in color. The presence of Alveolar hemorrhage is also checked. The normal count of macrophages i.e. greater than 80%, neutrophils i.e. less than 3%, eosinophil i.e. less than 2%, lymphocytes i.e. less than 15% and also erythrocyte presence is checked. The fluid collected is used for culture grow also for staining and check the histological appearance of fluid. Quantitative and qualitative analysis is also done along with PCR. Cytology is also checked.
Bronchoalveolar Lavage Definition, Indications,Procedure, Fluid Analysis Bronchoalveolar Lavage Definition, Indications,Procedure, Fluid Analysis Reviewed by Simon Albert on March 29, 2017 Rating: 5
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