We have presented a review of the present literature on new modalities to diagnose nosocomial pneumonia. Procedures are now available that, when correctly used, can establish a diagnosis of pneumonia with a high degree of reliability. In our institution, reliance on bronchoscopic modalities has simplified management of patients with suspected VAP, by eliminating confusion and rationalizing antibiotic treatment. Invasive procedures, however, should be performed only if the results of cultures are consistently applied to treatment. As this field rapidly evolves, we hope that this review will provide the reader with a foundation to understand new developments.