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Free Content Adenosine deaminase activity and lysozyme levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis

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Setting: The estimations of adenosine deaminase (ADA) activity and lysozyme (LYS) levels in pleural fluid have been proved useful tools in the diagnosis of tuberculous pleural effusions. Little is known about their usefulness when estimated in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF).

Objective: To evaluate whether both ADA activity and LYS levels in BALF could be employed in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis, and especially in active but acid fast bacilli (AFB) smear negative cases.

Design: ADA activity and LYS levels were determined in BALF and serum obtained on the same day in 28 patients with tuberculosis, 21 with interstitial lung diseases, 14 with lung cancer and 13 with infectious diseases.

Results: Patients with pulmonary tuberculosis had significantly higher ADA activity in BALF than patients with non-tuberculous lung diseases (P < 0.001). High BALF ADA activity in pulmonary tuberculosis patients suggests increased local production. In contrast, in this group of patients BALF LYS levels were not significantly higher than in the other groups of patients, but were in the group with interstitial lung diseases.

Conclusion: BALF ADA activity seems to be a useful tool in the differentiation of tuberculosis from other lung diseases. Its estimation can be restricted to the detection of cases with AFB negative smears.
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Keywords: adenosine deaminase; bronchoalveolar lavage; lysozyme; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Medical School, Athens University, Greece

Publication date: 1998-02-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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