Cellular and noncellular components of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in HIV-1-infected children with radiological evidence of interstitial lung damage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Children with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) commonly have recurrent infectious and noninfectious lung complications that ultimately end in death. To study the intensity of alveolar inflammation and to evaluate the clinical utility of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) in children with HIV-1 infections, we retrospectively analyzed differential cell counts, lymphocyte subsets, and fibronectin and hyaluronic acid concentrations in BAL fluid of 18 HIV-1-positive children (9 boys, mean age 3.5 years, range 5 months-8 years) with radiological evidence of interstitial lung disease, and 19 control children who had undergone BAL for clinical indications not involving the lung parenchyma (13 boys, mean age 3 years, range 2 months-14 years). BAL fluid from 89% of the HIV-1 infected children showed CD8+ve lymphocytic alveolitis expressing HLA-DR, CD54, and CD 69 antigens. BAL fluid from HIV-infected patients typically contained markedly increased percentages and numbers of lymphocytes (P < 0.0001) and eosinophils (P < 0.04) and significantly higher concentrations of albumin (P < 0.05) and fibronectin (P < 0.0006) than fluids from control children. Whereas BAL cellular components did not differ in P. carinii-positive and P. carinii-negative HIV-1-infected children, fibronectin concentrations were significantly higher in P. carinii-positive than negative children. BAL cell differentials and noncellular components were related neither to severity of disease nor to patients' disease progression. These findings indicate that BAL is useful in studying the intensity of lung inflammation in children with HIV-1 infections and radiologically documented interstitial lung disease, but provides no information on the subsequent clinical course.


  • Fabio Midulla
  • PierMichele Strappini
  • Thomas Sandstrom
  • Leif Bjermer
  • Carlo Falasca
  • Paolo Capocaccia
  • Salvatore Catania
  • Elisabetta Soldi
  • Maria Pia Pia Villa
  • Roberto Ronchetti
External organisations
  • St. Olav’s University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


  • bronchoalveolar lavage, cellular and noncellular components, AIDS, children, human immunodeficiency virus, interstitial lung disease
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes