Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) has become an important tool for evaluating changes in airway cells and fluid in asthma, and it may give insights into mechanisms of bronchial inflammation. Many factors contribute to airway inflammation in asthma including, possibly, airway instrumentation. To establish whether BAL leads to diffuse airway inflammation in stable asthmatics, we performed paired BAL studies (24 h apart) in eight subjects with mild asthma whose prebronchoscopy spirometric results were similar on both days. Airflow limitation did not occur in any subject after bronchoscopy. We observed no significant changes in BAL volume return, cell differential, lymphocyte subsets, reactive oxygen species metabolism by air-space cells, or BAL total protein. There was a slight increase in second-day BAL total cell return. We conclude that bronchoscopy and BAL in stable asthmatics with mild disease is not associated with evidence of diffuse airway inflammation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine