Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Bronchoalveolar lavage

Contributor(s): Kim Willoughby

Introduction

  • Washing of cells from bronchi/alveoli allows cytological and microbiological diagnosis of respiratory pathology.
  • Indicated in most chronic and some acute respiratory diseases.

Uses

Advantages

  • Relatively rapid procedure.
  • Minimal risk above that of anesthesia.
  • Endoscopy allows visualization of respiratory tract, though endoscopy is limited in the cat by the small size of the airways.
  • Quality of cytological samples is generally high.

Disadvantages

  • Requires general anesthesia.
  • Limited by diameter of bronchoscope. Bronchoscopic collection method is not often possible in cats and a blind sampling method is usually used.
  • Requires some additional training and expertise.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Sparkes A, Wotton P & Brown P (1997) Tracheobronchial washing in the dog and cat. In Practice 19 (5), 257-259 VetMedResource.
  • Hawkins E C, Kennedy-Stoskopf S, Levy J et al (1994) Cytologic characterization of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid collected through an endotracheal tube in cats. Am J Vet Res 55 (6), 795-802 PubMed.
  • Padrid P A, Feldman B F, Funk K et al (1991) Cytologic, microbiologic and biochemical analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid obtained in 24 healthy cats. Am J Vet Res 52 (8), 1300-1307 PubMed.
  • Hawkins E C, DeNicola D B & Kuehn N F (1990) Bronchoalveolar lavage in evaluation of pulmonary disease in the dog and cat. State of the art. JVIM (5), 267-274 PubMed.
  • Rakich P M & Latimer K S (1989) Cytology of the respiratory tract. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract​ 19 (5), 823-850 PubMed.
  • Rebar A H & DeNicola D B (1988) The cytologic examination of the respiratory tract. Semin Vet Med Surg (2), 109-121 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Willoughby K & Dawson S (2001) Respiratory infections. In: Manual of Canine and Feline Infectious diseases. Eds: B J Tennant & I Ramsay. Gloucester, British Small Animal Veterinary Association.
  • Baker R & Lumsden J H (1999) Colour Atlas of Cytology of the Dog and Cat. St Louis, Mosby Inc. ISBN 0 8151 0402 2 (detailed description of cytology and cytological techniques and many excellent full color illustrations).
  • Corcoran B (1998) Cytological collection techniques. In: Manual of small animal cardiorespiratory medicine and surgery. Eds: Luis Fentes V & Swift S. Gloucester, British Small Animal Veterinary Association. ISBN 0 905214 33 1.
  • Dye J A & Moise N S (1992) Feline bronchial disease. In: Current Veterinary Therapy XI, Small Animal Practice. Eds: R W Kirk & J D Bonagura. Philadelphia, WB Saunders.


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