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Ivan GUR
Roei Tounek
Yaniv Dotan
Elite Vainer Evgrafov
Stav Rakedzon
Eyal Fuchs


Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL), Thrombocytopenia, Hematological patients, BAL complications



Hospitalized hematological patients often require bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Paucity of evidence exists as to the potential risks in patients with very-severe thrombocytopenia (VST).


This retrospective-cohort study included adult hematological in-patients with VST, defined as platelets<20x103/μL, undergoing BAL during 2012-2021. Mechanically-ventilated patients or those with known active bleeding were excluded. Primary outcomes included major bleeding halting the BAL or deemed significant by the treating physician, need for any respiratory support other than low flow O2 or death within 24 hours. Any other bleeding were recorded as secondary outcomes.   


Of the 507 patients included in the final analysis, the 281 patients with VST had lower hemoglobin (Md=0.3, p=0.003), longer prothrombin-time (Md=0.7s, p=0.025), higher chances of preprocedural platelet transfusion (RR 3.68, 95%CI[2.86,4.73]), and only one primary-outcome event (death of septic shock 21h postprocedurally) - compared with 3 (1.3%) events (two bleedings halting procedure and one need for non-invasive-ventilation) in patients with platelets ≥20x103/μL (p=0.219). Risk of minor, spontaneously resolved bleeding was higher (RR=3.217, 95%CI[0.919,11.262]) in patients with VST (4.3% vs 1.3%, p=0.051). No association was found between any of the complications recorded and preprocedural platelets, age, aPTT, PT, hematological status, or platelet transfusion. 


This data suggests BAL to be safe even when platelet counts are <20x103/μL.


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