Bronchoalveolar lavage: sampling technique and guidelines for cytologic preparation and interpretation.Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2008 Aug; 24(2):423-35, vii-viii.VC
Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a method for the recovery of respiratory secretions that line the peripheral airways and alveoli. Overall, BAL is considered very safe and sufficiently sensitive to detect inflammation at the cytologic level. The good correlation between BAL differential cell counts and exercise-induced hypoxemia or lactic acidosis, airway obstruction, or airway responsiveness attests to the relevance of BAL cytology to the structure and function of the equine airways. Thus, an important advantage of BAL over tracheal wash cytology is that BAL cytology relates well to the clinical signs and pathophysiologic consequences of inflammatory airway disease.