Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Lung: bronchoalveolar lavage

Synonym(s): BAL lavage

Contributor(s): Sarah Pellett, Livia Benato

Introduction

  • Collection of cells from the bronchoalveoli allows microbiological and cytological diagnosis in rabbits presenting with suspected bronchopulmonary disease.

Uses

  • To collect fluid for microbiology from the lower airway.
  • To collect fluid for cytology from the lower airway.

Advantages

  • Relatively quick procedure.
  • technique is relatively straightforward.
  • If endoscopy is used, it allows visualization of the respiratory tract   Endoscopy: overview  .
  • Yield and quality of samples are generally good.

Disadvantages

  • Requires general anesthetic.
  • Intubation is essential.
  • Care must be taken with severely debilitated, dyspneic rabbits.
  • If endoscopy is used, the technique is limited by the diameter of the endoscope   Endoscopy: equipment  . Small telescopes can only be used in larger rabbits and will usually only reach the tracheal bifurcation. Small flexible bronchoscopes are required for smaller rabbits and for bronchoscopy.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Dependent on underlying cause.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Richardson J & Keeble E (2014)Physical examination and clinical techniques.In:BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine.Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA, Gloucester. pp 80-107.
  • Lewis W (2013)Mediastinal masses and other thoracic surgery.In:BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging.Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA, Gloucester. pp 257-268.


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