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Pediatr Pulmonol. 1999 Aug;28(2):139-44.

High fever after flexible bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage in noncritically ill immunocompetent children.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. SchellhaseDennisE@exchange.uams.edu

Abstract

Flexible bronchoscopy (FB) and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) have been applied increasingly to the evaluation of pulmonary disease in children. Although several complications have been reported following FB and BAL, high fever after BAL in immunocompetent children has not previously been reported. To determine the frequency, clinical characteristics, and outcome of these complications in children who developed high fever post-BAL, we retrospectively reviewed all bronchoscopic procedures done on an outpatient basis between August 1995 and July 1997. We identified 78 immunocompetent noncritically ill children who had undergone FB and BAL as an outpatient procedure for evaluation of underlying pulmonary disease, of whom 13 (17%) developed temperature (T) higher than or equal to 39 degrees C (fever group). The 13 patients in the fever group had a median age of 10 (range, 4-48) months and a reported T of 39.4 degrees C (39.1-40.6 degrees C) occurring 7.5 (4-12) hr after BAL. To determine if there were differences in clinical or BAL fluid (BALF) characteristics, we compared each child in the fever group to two children in the nonfever group, based upon primary indications and age. There were no differences in demographic or clinical characteristics between the two groups. Lymphocyte concentrations in BALF were significantly reduced in the fever group (P = 0.03). An abnormal BALF cell differential (defined as one or more of the following: neutrophils >10%, lymphocytes >30%, or eosinophils >1%) was significantly more common in the fever group (P = 0.008, odds ratio 3.6). We conclude that high fever is a frequent adverse event following BAL in noncritically ill immunocompetent children with underlying pulmonary disease. Pre-BAL clinical characteristics are not associated with development of high fever. However, the finding of an abnormal BALF cell differential is strongly associated with development of high fever post-BAL.

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