Bronchoalveolar Lavage in the Assessment of Peripheral Lung Cancer


Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Division, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, TEHRAN-IRAN


Background: In patients suspected of having lung cancer but with no evidence of endobronchial lesion, biopsies taken by transbronchial, percutaneous or open lung surgery can contribute to diagnostic yield but each with their limitations and complications. Recently, cytologic analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage specimens has been shown to improve the diagnostic yield for peripheral lesions. The objective of this study was to determine the value of bronchoalveolar lavage cytology in diagnosing peripheral lung cancer in Imam Khomeini Hospital. Materials and Methods: We performed a study among 47 admitted patients with biopsy proven peripheral lung cancer in whom bronchoalveolar lavage cytology was studied. Results: In patients with a peripheral lesion, BAL was positive for malignant cells in 36.2%. Conclusion: Bronchoalveolar lavage cytology was proved to be a valuable diagnostic tool in peripheral lung cancer in our country. (Tanaffos 2003; 2(7): 7-10)