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Fluid Analysis Microscopy Bronchoalveolar Lavage

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Fluid Analysis Microscopy Bronchoalveolar Lavage

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What is this test?

Fluid Analysis Microscopy Bronchoalveolar Lavage Test is used to analyze the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid to diagnose the diseases or conditions affecting the lungs.

What is Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid?

Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid is a fluid collected from the small part of the lungs to diagnose lung diseases. Alveoli are tiny sacs within our lungs that help in the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and bloodstream. These tiny air sacs are attached to the bronchi and resemble a cluster of grapes.

Variety of diseases or conditions affecting the lungs and its function can cause bronchoalveolar lavage fluid changes. Normally, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid contains a small number of white blood cells. In case of any diseases or conditions affecting the lungs, the levels of these cells may get disrupted.

Common conditions that affect the lungs are pneumonia, interstitial lung disease (scarring of the lung), and certain types of lung cancers. Pneumonia is a type of infection that causes swelling of the tissue in one or both lungs. It can be a bacterial (more serious) or viral infection. Signs and symptoms of pneumonia are shortness of breath, severe cough, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, etc.

An interstitial lung disease(ILD) is a group of lung disorders that result in scarring of the lung tissue. The exact cause of this condition is unknown. Certain types of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis may also cause interstitial lung disease. Signs and symptoms of ILD are dry coughs and shortness of breath.

This test helps to diagnose a variety of diseases or conditions affecting the lungs.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed to diagnose the conditions or diseases affecting the lungs. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of pneumonia such as shortness of breath, severe cough, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, etc. However, a few more additional tests may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Your doctor may also ask to perform this test if he suspects an interstitial disease or if you experience any signs and symptoms of such as dry coughs, shortness of breath, etc. This test is recommended to monitor and diagnose lung cancer in some individuals.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Fluid Analysis Microscopy Bronchoalveolar Lavage. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Fluid Analysis Microscopy Bronchoalveolar Lavage.

No specific preparation is necessary for this test. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

If the test results show the presence of very high levels of white blood cells (both total and differential WBC count) and a cloudy or turbid fluid, it may indicate pneumonia or interstitial lung disease (scarring of the lung). The presence of cancerous cells in the fluid may indicate certain types of lung cancers. However, a few more additional tests may also be performed depending on the suspected cause and typical results to diagnose the exact cause of the condition. Increased neutrophils levels and total WBC count may indicate bacterial pneumonia.

If you get abnormal test results, consult with your doctor immediately. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsObservations depend on the cause: Inlammation/ Infection/ Malignancy
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