Bronchoalveolar Lavage in Systemic Sclerosis Patients: A Systematic Review

Author(s): Sérgio Oliveira da Silva, Adriane Souza da Paz, Isla Miranda Vidal Cavalcante Farias, Damille Sandes Moreira, Marianna Alegro Fontes Ribeiro, Tatiana Senna Galvão Nonato Alves, Antônio Carlos Moreira Lemos, Mittermayer Barreto Santiago*

Journal Name: Current Rheumatology Reviews

Volume 17 , Issue 2 , 2021

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Graphical Abstract:


Introduction: We performed a systematic review of the literature to determine the value of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) in evaluating the pulmonary involvement of systemic sclerosis (SSc).

Methods: Articles published between 1980 and 2019 were retrieved from the databases: PubMed and Scielo. The search was restricted to clinical trials published in English, utilizing the keywords “scleroderma, systemic sclerosis, interstitial lung disease, and bronchoalveolar lavage”.

Results: Twenty-two papers were analyzed. A positive correlation was observed between increased BAL cellularity (alveolitis) and worsening clinical symptoms, pulmonary function, and radiological pattern in 2, 11, and 15 studies, respectively. The majority of BAL studies that evaluated interleukin levels, including TNF-α, IL-6, IL-7, and IL-8, observed higher levels in patients with impaired pulmonary function and increased lung involvement.

Conclusions: Alveolitis and the increase of some cytokines/chemokines in BAL were related to more severe pulmonary disease in SSc in the majority of the studies and seemed to be markers of worse prognosis, but it is unknown whether BAL adds clinical value to the use of the other non-invasive diagnostic procedures.

Keywords: Systemic sclerosis, scleroderma, interstitial lung disease, Bronchoalveolar lavage, alveolitis, pulmonary disease.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 19 May, 2021
Page: [176 - 183]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1573397116666201113091655
Price: $65

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