Clinics and Departments

Laboratory Services

Lab Dept:

Anatomic Pathology

Test Name:

BRONCHOALVEOLAR LAVAGE CELL COUNT AND DIFFERENTIAL

General Information

Lab Order Codes:

Bronchoalveolar Lavage Cell Count

Synonyms:

BAL, cell count; Bronch washings, cell count; Bronchial brushing, cell count

CPT Codes:

89050 – Cell count
88108-26 – Smear and interpretation

Test Includes:

When ordered, nucleated cell count and manual differential, culture, special stains for microorganisms, other special stains.

Logistics

Test Indications:

Useful for differential diagnosis and management of interstitial lung disease, sarcoid, histiocytosis, and hypersensitivity.

Lab Testing Section:

Anatomic Pathology and Hematology

Phone Numbers:

MIN Lab: 612-813-5875

STP Lab: 651-220-6550

Test Availability:

Monday - Friday

Turnaround Time:

1 - 3 days

Special Instructions:

N/A

Specimen

Specimen Type:

Bronchoalveolar washings

Container:

Screw capped, sterile vial

Draw Volume:

40 - 70 mL of bronchoalveolar washings

Processed Volume:

Varies depending on orders.

Collection:

Maintain sterility and forward promptly at ambient temperature only.

Special Processing:

Specify need for counts and stains on the Bronchoalveolar Lavage Form (available from lab)

Patient Preparation:

Physician preference

Sample Rejection:

Insufficient specimen; mislabeled or unlabeled specimen

Interpretive

Reference Range:

Differential Macrophages: 80 - 90%

Lymphocytes: 10%

Nucleated Cell Count: 10 - 15 x 10/100 mL

Critical Values:

N/A

Limitations:

Wide variability in cell type and numbers are recovered. Standardized volumes and concentrations are not yet established.

Methodology:

Light microscopy

Contraindications:

Severe hypoxemia with impending respiratory failure.

References:

Rosai, Juan MD, Ackerman’s Surgical Pathology, 8th ed, vols 1 and 2, CV Mosby

Sternberg, Steven (1997) Histology for Pathologists, 2nd ed, Lippincott/Raven



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