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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-32

Correlation between sputum and bronchoscopy-guided cytology (bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, transbronchial needle aspiration, and bronchial brush) with bronchial biopsy in the diagnosis of pulmonary pathology

1 Department of Pathology, TRIHMS, Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Sciences, Army Hospital Research and Referral, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pushpanjali R Ojha
Department of Pathology, TRIHMS, Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh - 791 110
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_135_18

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Background: Pulmonary pathologies constitute a major ailment in terms of morbidity and mortality. Recent technological advancements provide cytological analysis that accentuates accurate diagnosis, early intervention, management, and ease of clinical follow-up with improved outcomes. This study aimed to correlate the sensitivity and describe advantages and disadvantages of the various cytological means of the diagnosis of lung pathologies along with the sequential approach. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective study performed during the period of January 2013 to January 2015. Samples of sputum and bronchoscopy-mediated bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, air-dried and alcohol-fixed smears of bronchial brushing (BB), transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA), and formalin-fixed bronchial biopsy tissues were received, processed, and analyzed from all clinically and radiologically suspected cases of pulmonary pathologies. Results: Two hundred cases of lung lesions were included with all the four cytological sampling interventions and tissue biopsy in the present study with an age range of 21–90 years and male:female ratio of 2.45:1. There were 111 neoplastic and 89 nonneoplastic cases. The diagnostic sensitivity was maximum with BB cytology for nonneoplastic as well as neoplastic lesions. The overall diagnostic utility observed in 200 cases reveals sputum cytology as least sensitive and BB cytology as most sensitive investigation. Conclusion: Sputum cytology is used in patients who are unfit for bronchoscopy and inpatients for their routine evaluation of underlying infection. BAL enhances yield from intraluminal lesions, and TBNA enhances yield in submucosal and mediastinal lesions. The proposed protocol for cytomorphological diagnosis should be as sputum > BAL > TBNA > BB in order of ease.

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