BronchoAlveolar Lavage (BAL)


Diagnostic procedure where lavage fluid is introduced to the terminal bronchioles and then recollected for analysis to examine cells, inhaled particles, infectious organisms or fluid constituents. This mildly invasive procedure should be performed prior to biopsy or brushing procedures. BAL aims to establish a diagnosis, to find out if infections and malignancies are present and to estimate the degree of disease activity e.g. in case of interstitial lung disease. To ensure that sufficient aspirate is available for analysis, the successive instillation of lavage fluid (100 – 300 ml for adults) into the target area is necessary.