What is the role of cytologic evaluation of the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in the diagnosis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Eloise M Harman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Cytologic evaluation of the BAL fluid may also be helpful in the differential diagnosis of ARDS. This may reveal viral cytopathic changes, for example. Silver stain may be helpful in diagnosing an infection, such as Pneumocystis.

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