Bronchoscopic invasive diagnostic techniques in the cancer patient.Curr Opin Oncol. 2001 Jul; 13(4):236-41.CO
The cancer patient often presents with fever and pulmonary infiltrates, in particular during the course of chemotherapy or after bone marrow transplantation. In these conditions, specific diagnoses are mainly related to an infective cause, but noninfectious processes, malignant or not, are also found alone or in combination with infection. Identification of the pulmonary process can be achieved by bronchoscopic techniques, including bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and transbronchial biopsy (TBB). BAL may help identify opportunistic organisms but also bacterial pneumonia, provided quantitative cultures are performed, and TBB has been shown to increase the diagnostic yield of BAL. These two procedures should then be combined, provided there is no contraindication.