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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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Identification of Bronchoalveolar Lavage Components Applying Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy

Sabine Zirlik, Markus Friedrich Neurath, Norbert Meidenbauer, Michael Vieth, Florian Siegfried Fuchs

(Department of Medicine 1, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR4198-4203

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907405

BACKGROUND: In many studies, confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) has proven to be a useful tool in pulmonology; nevertheless, the application in this field is still experimental. By contrast, CLE is almost a standard technique in gastroenterology. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the identification of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) components applying CLE, using a dye.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In 21 patients with various underlying diseases a bronchoscopy with BAL was performed. As in routine clinical practice common, BAL fluid (BALF) was analyzed in terms of cytologic, virologic, and microbiologic aspects. To one fraction of BALF, we added acriflavine. After centrifugation CLE was applied and the video sequences were analyzed by an experienced investigator.
RESULTS: Using CLE, BALF components (such as alveolar macrophages or leucocytes) could be easily identified. A further subdivision of leucocytes (neutrophilic, eosinophilic granulocytes, and lymphocytes) was not possible. Analogous to conventional cytology, a precise distinction of lymphocyte subpopulation (cd 4/cd 8 ratio) was not feasible. In terms of quantification, this is still the application field of flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry.
CONCLUSIONS: Using CLE, alveolar macrophages and leucocytes in stained BALF can be differentiated independent of smoking status. Further studies should be initiated in order to subclassify leucocytes in eosinophilic, neutrophilic granulocytes, and lymphocytes, which is important for routine clinical practice.

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