Objectives: To evaluate the sensitivity, specificity and predictive values of NPA for detecting respiratory viruses in BAL; and to determine the relationship between viruses and lower airway neutrophilia in children with non-acute respiratory illness.
Study design: 150 paired NPA and BAL samples were obtained from 75 children aged <18 years undergoing flexible bronchoscopy for investigation of chronic respiratory symptoms. Viral studies were performed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Cellularity studies were performed on BALs. Diagnostic parameters of NPA compared to BAL and associations between viruses and lower airway %neutrophils were evaluated.
Results: NPA had a higher yield than BAL for detection of any respiratory virus (52 versus 38, respectively). NPA had a high sensitivity (92%) and low specificity (57%) for detecting HRV in BAL with poor kappa agreement value of 0.398 (95% CI 0.218-0.578, p < 0.001). NPA had a fair sensitivity (69%) and good specificity (90.3%) for detecting HAdV on BAL, kappa agreement was 0.561 (95% CI 0.321-0.801, p < 0.001). HAdV positivity on NPA, compared to negativity, was independently associated with heightened airway neutrophilia [mean difference (95% CI): 18 (1,35); p= 0.042].
Conclusions: NPA has a higher yield for respiratory virus detection than BAL, however its diagnostic accuracy is dependent on viral species. Adenovirus positivity is associated with significantly heightened lower airway neutrophilia in children with chronic respiratory symptoms. � 2013.