Bronchoalveolar Lavage


Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a diagnostic method of the lower respiratory system in which a bronchoscope is passed through the mouth or nose into an appropriate airway in the lungs, with a measured amount of fluid introduced and then collected for examination. This method is typically performed to diagnose pathogenic infections of the lower respiratory airways, though it also has been shown to have utility in diagnosing interstitial lung disease. Bronchoalveolar lavage can be a more sensitive method of detection than nasal swabs in respiratory molecular diagnostics, as has been the case with SARS-CoV-2 where bronchoalveolar lavage samples detect copies of viral RNA after negative nasal swab testing.

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