Bronchoalveolar and Serum Markers of Lung Disease

  • Carlos M. Luna


There is no consensus at the moment on the meaning of the term marker. In this chapter the term marker is going to be used to designate any abnormality in serum or bronchoalveolar (BAL) fluid components, including the cellular composition of BAL, provided these components are not considered part of the classical criteria for disease diagnosis. Markers may be useful for studying diffuse lung disorders, in a number of ways; (1) screening of high risk individuals for the presence of disease, (2) diagnosing diseases, (3) monitoring the effectiveness of therapy, and (4) detecting recurrences or complications. Although experts agree that lung biopsy is necessary for an accurate diagnosis of most diffuse lung diseases, some markers may be specific for a particular type of disease, as Langerhans cells in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) in histiocytosis-X. More often, markers may be of help in the diagnosis of diseases, monitoring the effectiveness of therapy or detecting recurrences, when they are used together with clinical, radiological and laboratory data (e.g. serum angiotensin converter enzyme (ACE) in sarcoidosis or serum precipitating antibodies in hypersensitivity pneumonitis).


Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Bronchoalveolar Lavage Interstitial Lung Disease Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid 
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  • Carlos M. Luna

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