Objective - To determine cytologic and microbiologic findings in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and Spo2 values obtained during BAL in healthy rabbits. Animals - 9 rabbits. Procedures - Bronchoscopic BAL of left and right caudal lobar bronchi (LB2 and RB4) was performed with 3 mL of sterile saline (0.9% NaCl) solution; Spo2 was measured before, during, and after BAL. Percentage fluid recovered, total leukocyte counts, and differential cell counts were determined. Aerobic and anaerobic bacterial, mycoplasmal, and fungal cultures were performed from combined LB2 and RB4 samples. Results - Mean ± SD percentage fluid volumes recovered from LB2 and RB4 were 53 ± 13% and 63 ± 13%, respectively. Mean ± SD total leukocyte counts from LB2 and RB4 were 422 ± 199 cells/μL and 378 ± 97 cells/μL, respectively. Macrophages were most frequently identified. There were no significant differences in volumes retrieved, total leukocyte counts, or differential cell percentages between LB2 and RB4. Microbial culture results were negative for 3 rabbits and positive for mixed aerobic and anaerobic bacterial growth in 6 and 2 rabbits, respectively. The Spo2 was ≥ 95% in 7 of 9 rabbits after anesthetic induction, < 95% in 5 of 6 rabbits 1 minute after BAL, and ≥ 95% in 5 of 9 rabbits and > 90% in 4 of 9 rabbits 3 minutes after BAL. Conclusions and clinical relevance - Bronchoscopic BAL with 3 mL of saline solution provided adequate fluid recovery for microbiologic and cytologic examination from the caudal lung lobes. Transient low Spo2 was detected immediately after BAL.
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