Bronchoscopy and Bronchoalveolar Lavage in the Diagnosis and Management of Pulmonary Infections in Immunocompromised Children

Suha Rizik, Fahed Hakim, Lea Bentur, Nira Arad-Cohen, Imad Kassis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Immunocompromised children are at high risk of rapid deterioration and of developing life-threatening pulmonary infections. Etiologies in this setting are diverse, including those that are infectious and noninfectious, and many etiologies may coexist. Accurate diagnosis is required for the rational use of medications. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB) with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) can identify infectious causes in this population. Objectives: The aims of this study were to evaluate diagnostic rate, safety, and changes in treatment following FOB with BAL, when applied with advanced laboratory diagnostic techniques. Patients and methods: We reviewed the records of children who underwent FOB with BAL during the period spanning from 2006 to 2014 in the Hematology-Oncology Department. BAL samples were processed in microbiology, virology, cytology, and molecular laboratories. Results: Antimicrobials were initiated in 91 of 117 children. BAL yielded an infectious etiology in 55 episodes. Management was altered in 74 patients following a positive (40/55) or a negative (30/54) result (4 patients had missing data). No severe complications associated with the procedures occurred. Conclusions: Most immunocompromised patients with pulmonary manifestations are treated empirically with multiple medications. Evaluation FOB/BAL is a useful diagnostic tool, and seems to have changed the course of therapy in more than half of patients, by initiation or cessation of treatment. FOB/BAL is a safe diagnostic tool for the evaluation of pulmonary manifestations in this setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-535
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)
  • fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB)
  • immunocompromised pediatric patients
  • microbiological techniques


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