How are bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) used in the workup of bacterial pneumonia?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Lung tissue can be visually evaluated and bronchial washing specimens can be obtained with the aid of a fiberoptic bronchoscope. Protected brushings and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) can be performed for fluid analysis and for stains and cultures.

BAL can also be performed without the use of a bronchoscope by insertion of a catheter into the lower respiratory tree either blindly or with fluoroscopic guidance.


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