Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Lung: bronchoalveolar lavage

Contributor(s): Christopher Brown, Timothy Mair, Nicola Menzies-Gow, Vetstream Ltd

Introduction

  • Cytology of fluids from the lower respiratory tract provides information about the condition of tissues next to the air spaces.
  • To facilitate the diagnosis of lower airway disease.
  • To evaluate airway cell populations.

Uses

Advantages

  • Good correlation shown between bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cytology and pulmonary histopathology in individual horses.
  • Quick and relatively simple technique, and can be performed in the field, provided there is good restraint.
  • Cells are better preserved than in tracheal aspirate and cell populations have a narrower normal range making interpretation easier.
  • Confirms that lung is source of poor performance.
  • Equipment required is cheap.

Disadvantages

  • Requires good restraint of horse, in particular of the head.
  • Requires short-acting sedation   Anesthesia: standing chemical restraint  .
  • Horse will cough throughout the procedure.
  • Sample obtained tends to be from caudodorsal lung lobe, so may not be representative, eg if suspect aspiration pneumonia.

Requirements

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Preparation

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Procedure

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Aftercare

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Prognosis

  • Good.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Koblinger K et al (2014) Bronchial collapse during bronchoalveolar lavage in horses is an indicator of lung inflammation. Equine Vet J 46 (1), 50-55 PubMed.
  • Rendle D (2012) Making the most of samples from the equine respiratory tract - a clinician's perspective on clinical pathology. UK Vet 17, 4-9 VetMedResource.
  • Barrelet A (2007) Laboratory investigation of poor performance in horses: Part 2 - Investigation of respiratory disease. UK Vet 12(1), 15-21 VetMedResource.
  • Hoffman A M (1999) Bronchoalveolar lavage technique and cytological diagnosis of small airway inflammatory disease. Equine Vet Educ 11, 330-336 VetMedResource.
  • Meyer T S, Fedde M R, Gaughan E M, Langsetmo I & Erickson H H (1998) Quantification of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage with bronchoalveolar lavage. Equine Vet J 30 (4), 284-288 PubMed.
  • Fogarty U & Buckley T (1991) Bronchoalveolar lavage findings in horses with exercise intolerance. Equine Vet J 23 (6), 434-437 PubMed.
  • Derksen F J et al (1989) Comparison of transtracheal aspirate and bronchoalveolar lavage cytology in 50 horses with chronic lung disease. Equine Vet J 21 (1), 23-26 PubMed.
  • Mair T S, Stokes C R & Bourne F J (1987) Cellular content of secretions obtained by lavage from different levels of the equine respiratory tract. Equine Vet J 19 (5), 458-462 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • McGorum B  (2004)How to Perform a Bronchoalveolar Lavage in a Horse.In:Proc 43rd BEVA Congress. Equine Vet J Ltd, Newmarket. pp 234.


ADDED