Bronchoalveolar lavage. The report of an international conference.
The application of the method of bronchoalveolar lavage to an increasing array of pulmonary diseases was evident, and the use of sophisticated technology to study cells and measure minute amounts of protein and other components in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid indicated that more meaningful information may be gained about diseased airways and alveolar spaces than suspected. That new techniques are being developed to make assays more sensitive and specific was evident. The popularity of this research approach was underscored by the interest and participation of colleagues in the United States and especially in Europe (notably France, England, Italy, and West Germany) and in Japan. This meeting was an opportune time to reflect on what bronchoalveolar lavage analysis has contributed to date and to focus attention on new applications that will be forthcoming and will improve our understanding of immunopathogenic mechanisms in an expanding number of pulmonary diseases.