INTRODUCTION: Patients with suspected active Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB) who are Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB) smear negative or non-productive of sputum may undergo bronchoalveolar lavage. However, post-bronchoscopy sputum (PBS) sampling is not routine. The aim of this study was to establish the potential diagnostic value of PBS sampling.
METHODS: A retrospective study of patients attending a London University hospital with microbiologically confirmed PTB between January 2004 and December 2010. Patients who were AFB smear negative or non-productive of sputum were eligible if sputum sampling was performed within 7 days of bronchoscopy.
RESULTS: Over the study period, 236 patients had microbiologically confirmed smear negative PTB of which 57 patients were eligible for the study. 15 patients (26.3%) were infected with HIV. 19 patients (33.3%) converted to AFB sputum smear positivity post-bronchoscopy and 5 patients (8.8%) were exclusively AFB sputum smear positive on PBS microscopy. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was cultured from the PBS of 43 patients (75.4%) and of these, 4 (7.0%) were exclusively PBS culture positive.
CONCLUSION: PBS analysis can provide a simple method of rapidly diagnosing pulmonary tuberculosis. In this cohort, M. tuberculosis culture yield was increased by 7% through PBS sampling. This study has important infection control implications with nearly one third of patients becoming more infectious after bronchoscopy.
- Aged, 80 and over
- Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/microbiology
- Middle Aged
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis/isolation & purification
- Retrospective Studies
- Sensitivity and Specificity
- Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/diagnosis
- Young Adult