Cytologic, microbiologic, and biochemical analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid obtained from 24 healthy cats.

P. A. Padrid, B. F. Feldman, K. Funk, E. M. Samitz, D. Reil, Carroll E Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Twenty-four healthy cats underwent bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage to determine the normal cytologic environment of the lower respiratory tract of cats. Initial screening to ensure the health of the study population included complete histories, physical examinations, thoracic radiography, CBC, serologic tests for feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, and occult heartworm, and sugar and Baermann fecal flotation. In 18 cats, protected catheter brush samples of airway secretions from the lavaged lung segment were taken for culture of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and mycoplasma. Bronchial lavage fluid (5 sequential 10-ml aliquots of normal saline solution) was pooled and filtered with cotton gauze. The unspun sample was used for determination of a total nucleated cell count. Lavage fluid was cytocentrifuged and 500 cells/slide were scored for determination of the cellular differential. Activity of lactate dehydrogenase and concentrations of total protein and IgG within the supernatant were measured, and assays were performed to detect the presence of IgA and IgM. Complete histologic evaluation of the lavaged lung of each of 6 random-source cats was performed after differential cell counting revealed 18% eosinophils within bronchoalveolar lavage fluid recovered from this group. Alveolar macrophages were the predominant cells encountered; however, a quarter of all cells recovered were eosinophils. A significant relationship was not found between the abundance of eosinophils in the lavage fluid, and either isolation of aerobic bacteria, high total nucleated cell counts, total protein concentrations, or activity of lactate dehydrogenase. Histologic evaluation of the lungs of 5 of 6 random-source cats revealed normal lungs in 2 cats, and minimal abnormal change in 3 others. Evaluation of the lungs from 1 random source cat revealed acute, mild eosinophilic bronchiolitis. We conclude that large numbers of eosinophils may be retrieved from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of healthy cats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1300-1307
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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