The technique of BAL performed through the fiberoptic bronchoscope has, in two decades, provided clinicians and researchers with the ability to safely sample the inflammatory-immune cell milieu of the human lung. Standardized BAL and processing of the lavage constituents provides assistance in determining the optimal care of patients with a variety of lung diseases, and renders diagnosis in selected cases. It has become indispensable in the diagnosis of pulmonary infiltrates in immunocompromised patients, and plays an important role in improving clinical management. Finally, it continues to yield an ever increasing amount of data for the researchers studying the mechanisms and pathogenesis of lung disease. It is likely that BAL will become an even more valuable tool with increasing relevance to the practice of chest medicine in the 1990s.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy