Nonspecific bronchial responsiveness was studied in 23 allergic patients with a history of rhinitis and/or bronchial asthma who underwent fiberoptic bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar and bronchial lavage (BAL-BL) 4h (Group A) or 24 h (Group B) after an allergen inhalation challenge. In all patients, the dose of methacholine causing an FEV1 fall of 15% (PD15) was determined at baseline, 24 h before allergen challenge. Methacholine bronchial challenge was repeated 1 h before BAL-BL in patients of both groups and again 12 to 14 h after BAL-BL in Group A and 24 h after BAL-BL in Group B. In patients of Group A, the values of methacholine PD15 after BAL-BL were not significantly different from those determined before BAL-BL. This was also the case in patients in whom bronchial responsiveness was increased after allergen challenge. In patients of Group B, methacholine PD15 was significantly decreased after allergen challenge, and this decrease was correlated with the occurrence and the severity of the late asthmatic reaction. Even in patients who showed dual asthmatic reactions and an increased responsiveness after allergen challenge, methacholine PD15 was not further decreased after BAL-BL. These data support the safety of a procedure combining bronchial allergen challenge with BAL-BL, which can be used for studies on the pathophysiology of bronchial asthma.