Small volume bronchoalveolar lavage used in diagnosing Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in HIV-infected patients.Chest. 1995 Apr; 107(4):1013-7.Chest
To determine the volume of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid necessary to diagnose Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in immunocompromised patients, specimens from 25 patients were evaluated. Twenty-one patients were HIV infected. BAL was performed using three to four 60-mL aliquots of room temperature, sterile, saline solution. Each syringe of BAL effluent was numbered and its volume was measured. Immunofluorescent stains were performed on about 8-mL aliquots of the initial, final, and aggregate BAL specimens, and a modified Giemsa stain was also performed on a 0.4-mL aliquot of the aggregate specimen. Of 25 patients, Pneumocystis carinii organisms were identified in 9 with HIV infection, in whom all BAL specimens were positive with both immunofluorescence and Giemsa stains. In 16 patients, BAL specimens were negative for P carinii on both immunofluorescent and modified Giemsa testing. Both staining methods were 100% specific (95% confidence interval [CI], 83 to 100%) and 100% sensitive (95% CI, 72 to 100%). The volume of BAL effluent in the initial specimens positive for P carinii ranged from 15 to 25 mL. We conclude that in this small group of patients, PCP was accurately diagnosed from a single 60-mL BAL specimen stained with immunofluorescence methods.