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Laboratory: Clinical Microbiology
Test Name:
Test Code: BRSH
Clinical Information:
Test Indications:
Bronchial brushings using a protected specimen brush are occasionally obtained in the diagnostic work-up of patients with pneumonia.  General indications are similar to performing a bronchial alveolar lavage, and include the following:
1.  Non-resolving pneumonia (i.e., failure of standard therapy)
2.  Diffuse lung infiltrates (alveolar or interstitial) of uncertain etiology
3.  Pulmonary infiltrates in an immunocompromised host
4.  Quantitative cultures for diagnosis of ventilator-associated pneumonia (NB. Current North American guidelines on the management of patients with hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia favor non-invasive respiratory sampling methods such as endotracheal aspirates over invasive sampling methods including bronchial brushings using a protected specimen brush.)

Clearly indicate on the microbiology requisition the specimen type (bronchial brushings) and the test(s) requested.  A quantitative culture will be performed on respiratory secretions obtained with a protected specimen brush submitted to the microbiology laboratory for bacterial culture.  If culture for anaerobes is required, please contact the microbiologist on-call.
If Nocardia, Legionella, Mycobacteria, and/or Fungi are suspected, these should be specifically requested on the microbiology requisition.  Quantitative culture is not performed for these organisms. Refer to the relevant LIM entries for further details pertaining to these tests.
If infection with a systemic fungus (e.g., Blastomyces spp., Coccidioides spp., Histoplasma capsulatum, Talaromyces marneffei, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis) is suspected, notify the laboratory in advance.
The laboratory will automatically perform a Gram stain where appropriate.  This does not need to be requested on the microbiology requisition.
Please indicate what antimicrobial therapy the patient is currently receiving on the microbiology requisition (clinical details section).
For information on other microbiology tests on bronchial washings not performed by Shared Health Clinical Microbiology Laboratories (e.g., virus detection), please refer to the relevant laboratory that performs the testing.

Patient Preparation Instructions:
Follow the procedure outlined by your healthcare facility.
Accurate patient identification must be made prior to sample collection.  Patient identification should be done in accordance with site policy.
Samples and requisitions must be labeled/completed in accordance with the Shared Health Specimen Acceptance Policy.
Collection Devices:
Specimen Required: Respiratory secretions obtained with a protected specimen brush (Adult and Pediatric)
Submit aseptically handled brush in sterile screw capped container with 1.0 mL sterile saline.
Reference Values:
A descriptive report will be sent.  Quantitative cultures will be performed for bacteria.  Samples that are negative for bacterial culture will be incubated for 48 hours before being reported as "No growth at 10^4 cfu/L".
See Also:
More Information:
Specimen Handling:
Transport to the laboratory as soon as possible.
If transport will occur within 2 hours, it is acceptable to store the specimen at room temperature (although 4°C is optimal).
If transport to the laboratory will be delayed up to 24 hours, store the specimen at 4°C.  Ensure samples that are being sent to a referral laboratory are packaged in accordance with Transport of Dangerous Goods recommendations for diagnostic samples.