Bronchoscopy in dogs and cats

Bronchoscopy is indicated for the evaluation of the major airways in animals with suspected structural abnormalities; for visual assessment of airway inflammation or pulmonary hemorrhage; and as a means of collecting specimens in animals with undiagnosed lower respiratory tract disease.

Bronchoscopy in dogs and cats can be used to identify structural abnormalities of the major airways, such as tracheal collapse, mass lesions, tears, strictures, lung lobe torsions, bronchiectasis, bronchial collapse, and external airway compression. Foreign bodies or parasites may be identified. Hemmorrhage or inflammation involving the large airways may also be seen and localized.

Specimen collection techniques performed in conjunction with bronchoscopy in dogs and cats are valuable diagnostic tools because they can obtain specimens from deeper regions of the lung than is possible with the tracheal wash technique, and visually directed sampling of specific lesions or lung lobes is also possible. Dogs and cats undergoing bronchoscopy must receive general anesthesia, and the presence of the scope within the airways compromises ventilation. Therefore bronchoscopy is contraindicated in animals with severe respiratory tract compromise unless the procedure is likely to be therapeutic (i.e, foreign body removal).

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