Bronchoalveolar Lavage Total Cell Count in Interstitial Lung Diseases—Does It Matter?
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Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a useful technique for differential diagnosis of various interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) and is usually realized by analysis of the differential cell count. This study was conducted to estimate the value of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) total cell count (TCC) in the diagnosis of ILD. We analyzed 237 BAL samples from patients with ILD: sarcoidosis (SA), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP), hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), chronic eosinophilic pneumonia (CEP), and smoking-related ILD (sr-ILD). The control group consisted of 30 healthy volunteers. The statistical analysis revealed significant differences in the BALF TCC between healthy controls and patients with SA, IPF, HP, COP, sr-ILD, and eosinophilic disorders (mean values 6.9 vs. 14.5, 22.5, 22.8, 20.7, 64.5, and 27.3 × 106, respectively). Logistic regression revealed a significant relation between the TCC and ILD diagnosis. We conclude that the TCC, as well as the value of total number of inflammatory cells, should be reported in the description of BAL.
KEY WORDSinterstitial lung diseases total cell count BAL
The authors wish to thank Dr Zbigniew Lewandowski for his help in the statistical analysis.
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