Update 1991 pp 192-197 | Cite as

Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL) in Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

  • A. Artigas
  • X. Castella
Conference paper
Part of the Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (UICM, volume 14)


Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a complex pulmonary dysfunction of varied etiology, often affecting young and previously healthy individuals. It is associated with a very high mortality which remains unchanged since first described in 1967 [1]. Although various factors are involved, the final outcome is a sequence of common pathologic findings including pulmonary edema and hemorrhage, hyaline membrane formation, micro- and macrothrombi, inflammatory cell deposits and fibrosis. Based on human studies and experimental models of ARDS, several possible mechanisms of acute lung injury have been proposed [2]. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a useful and safe “liquid lung biopsy” to study the alveolar fluid in many respiratory diseases [3–5]. BAL fluid does not represent a simple diluted sample of plasma but rather reflects a selective metabolic activity of the inflamed pulmonary interstitium and alveoli. In this way, many authors have assessed BAL fluid analysis to study many mediators that could have a true effect in the ARDS pathogenesis [6]. The main fields that have been studied by means of BAL fluid analysis in ARDS are the following:


Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Acute Lung Injury Alveolar Macrophage Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Bronchoalveolar Lavage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Artigas
  • X. Castella

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