Which pulmonary procedures are performed in the workup of mycobacterium chelonae infection?

Updated: Dec 20, 2018
  • Author: Alfred Scott Lea, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Bronchoscopy is frequently indicated. Tests to be sent include bronchial washes for AFB culture and transbronchial biopsy samples sent for culture and histopathology. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) may also be useful. Fungal cultures are typically sent as well, given an uncertain differential diagnosis.

Open or Video-assisted thorascopic (VATS) lung biopsy may be considered if suspicion is high but diagnostic criteria have not been met. Specimens for fungal and AFB cultures should be sent along with histopathology.

A positive culture from a sterile surgical biopsy is considered diagnostic for M chelonae.

Lung biopsy histology documenting the presence of AFB or granulomas along with positive sputum or BAL culture is considered diagnostic.

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