Anasthesiol Intensivmed Notfallmed Schmerzther 1997 Mar;32(3):169-74
Risks and side effects of diagnostic bronchoalveolar lavage in ventilated patients.
Zimmermann P, Klein U.
Klinik fur Anasthesiologie und Intensivtherapie, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena.
Bronchoalveolar lavage is used increasingly often as a diagnostic tool in
critically ill patients undergoing mechanical ventilation. Most patients, even
those with haemodynamic instability or respiratory failure, tolerate the
procedure without marked adverse effects. A relatively small proportion of
patients, however, will experience potentially deleterious side effects like
prolonged deterioration of pulmonary mechanics, oxygen desaturation or
sepsis-like symptoms. Despite all precautions, it is not possible to date to
identify increased-risk patients beforehand. The potential benefits, namely,
early diagnosis of an aetiological agent who is responsible for infection, must
therefore be carefully weighted against the risks.