Bacteriologic assessment of the lower respiratory tract in intubated patients

Crit Care Med. 1986 Oct;14(10):864-8. doi: 10.1097/00003246-198610000-00006.


Twelve patients with an endotracheal tube and a new infiltrate were assessed for differences in the bacteriologic information that could be obtained by routine tracheal suctioning (RTS), a double-lumen protected-sheath brush passed through a flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope (B-FFB), and suctioning through a flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope (S-FEB). Gram stains and cultures were performed on all specimens. There was 100% agreement for the culture results obtained by RTS and S-FEB. It is concluded that RTS obtains comparable information to that obtained by the more expensive and more personnel-intensive B-FFB.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriological Techniques*
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Catheterization
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal*
  • Respiratory System / microbiology*
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Suction