Section 47
Chapter 46,120

Fractional analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cytology in cystic fibrosis patients with normal lung function. Bronchoalveolar lavage for the evaluation of anti-inflammatory treatment (BEAT) study group

Ratjen, F.; Rietschel, E.; Griese, M.; Ballmann, M.; Kleinau, I.; Döring, G.; Reinhardt, D.; Paul, K.

European Respiratory Journal 15(1): 141-145


ISSN/ISBN: 0903-1936
PMID: 10678636
DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00.15114100
Accession: 046119575

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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is associated with a neutrophil dominated airway inflammation. So far bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) studies in CF have used pooled BAL samples which may be more representative of the alveolar compartment rather than the airways. To assess whether the first sample of a BAL is more sensitive in the evaluation of airway inflammation, the authors have studied 105 stable CF patients aged 5-37 yrs with a mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of 96+/-15% (mean+/-SD). BAL cytology of the first and pooled samples were compared to reference values obtained in children without respiratory disease. Absolute cell counts and the percentage of neutrophils were significantly increased in CF patients. If the 95% confidence interval was used as a cut-off point, 17/105 CF patients had a normal percentage of neutrophils in pooled BAL samples, but only three also had a normal percentage of neutrophils in the first BAL aliquot. Therefore, neutrophil dominated airway inflammation is more pronounced in the first, mainly bronchial, bronchoalveolar lavage sample suggesting that sequential analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid may have a higher sensitivity to detect early inflammatory changes in CF patients.

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