Iran Red Crescent Med J 2015 Oct 28;17(10):e31103. Epub 2015 Oct 28.
Department of Chest Diseases and Tuberculosis, Faculty of Medicine, Bulent Ecevit University, Zonguldak, Turkey.
Background: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a noninvasive and useful technique for evaluating interstitial lung diseases (ILDs). Flow cytometric analysis of BAL fluid reveals specific diagnostic information in some unusual ILDs, and helps to narrow down the possible causes of interstitial diseases in most patients with more common disorders. A high BAL CD4/CD8 ratio is highly specific for sarcoidosis but can also be seen in other ILDs.
Objectives: In this retrospective, descriptive, cross-sectional study, we compared BAL fluid characteristics and clinical variables in patients with sarcoidosis and non-sarcoidosis ILDs in a large cohort.
Patients And Methods: The study was conducted in a tertiary university hospital in Zonguldak, the biggest city of the western Black Sea region of Turkey. Between 2004 and 2014, all patients who underwent both fiberoptic bronchoscopy and BAL with a suspicion of ILD were included in the study, retrospectively. Patients were divided into two main groups: sarcoidosis and non-sarcoidosis ILDs. Non-sarcoidosis ILDs were further divided into subgroups: pneumoconiosis, tuberculosis (TB), collagen vascular diseases, idiopathic interstitial pneumonias, malignancies, and unclassified ILDs. The clinical data of patients, including age, gender, smoking status, pulmonary function tests, and BAL flow cytometric analysis results, were compared among groups.
Results: In total, 261 patients (119 sarcoidosis and 142 non-sarcoidosis ILDs) were enrolled. The median (interquartile range) BAL CD4/CD8 ratio and lymphocyte fraction were significantly higher in sarcoidosis than in non-sarcoidosis ILDs: 3.88 (3.76) versus 0.88 (1.01), respectively, and 20.6 (28.3) versus 6.0 (13.7), respectively. T cell receptor γ delta, CD16(+)56(+), CD103(+), CD8(+)103(+), and CD3(+)16(+)56(+) cells were significantly lower in sarcoidosis than in non-sarcoidosis ILDs. The median BAL CD4/CD8 ratios were significantly higher in patients with TB (1.87, P = 0.01) and malignancies (1.69, P = 0.03) than in other non-sarcoidosis ILDs.
Conclusions: Among BAL fluid flow cytometric parameters, CD4/CD8 and lymphocyte fraction may be helpful for distinguishing sarcoidosis from other ILDs, but they are neither specific nor diagnostic for any lung disease. Thus, a multidisciplinary diagnostic discussion is required to differentiate various ILDs.