General vs local anesthesia. Effect on bronchoalveolar lavage findings

Chest. 1993 Oct;104(4):1032-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.104.4.1032.


Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) can be performed with the patient undergoing either local or general anesthesia (GA). This study investigates whether the type of anesthesia affects BAL fluid and cell recovery. Eighty patients, were selected for study. Fluid recoveries were significantly less in the GA group for both the bronchial and alveolar lavages. The differences were confirmed for BAL fluid recovery in a subsequent group of 120 unselected patients. Bronchoscope size did not appear to affect recovery, nor did anesthesia time; BAL fluid recovery from patients with respiratory failure who were intubated and mechanically ventilated was similar to that in the GA group, suggesting that lower recovery rates may be due to mechanical ventilation. The BAL fluid cell counts were related to fluid recovery, but airway neutrophils represented a higher percentage of BAL lavage fluid cells in the GA lavages, independent of differences in the volume of lavage fluid recovered.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, General*
  • Anesthesia, Local*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / pathology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology*
  • Bronchoscopes
  • Cell Count
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Male
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods*