The efficacy of bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial biopsy in diagnosing lung infection was determined in 276 fiberoptic bronchoscopic examinations done on 171 patients with known or suspected acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Of 173 pathogens (Pneumocystis carinii, cytomegalovirus, Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare, Cryptococcus neoformans, M. tuberculosis, Coccidioides immitis, and Histoplasma capsulatum) identified during the initial evaluation or in the subsequent month, the initial bronchoscopic examination detected 166 (96%). Bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial biopsy had sensitivities of 86% and 87% respectively. When bronchoscopy included both bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial biopsy, the yield for all pathogens was 98% and the sensitivity for P. carinii infections was 100%. Follow-up for at least 3 weeks after examination failed to detect any additional false-negative results. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy is extremely accurate for the detection of pathogens in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, especially when bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial biopsy are combined. In patients at high risk of complications from transbronchial biopsy, bronchoalveolar lavage is sufficiently accurate to be used alone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine