Objective—To determine whether bronchial brushings from dogs with chronic cough have increased numbers of goblet cells and WBCs, compared with numbers for healthy dogs, or have differing WBC populations, compared with populations in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid obtained from dogs with chronic cough.
Animals—9 healthy dogs and 10 dogs with chronic cough.
Procedure—Specimens were collected by use of bronchoscopy. Cellular composition was determined for brushings, and results from dogs with chronic cough were compared with those from healthy dogs. Cellular composition of brushings was compared with composition of BAL obtained from dogs with chronic cough.
Results—Brushings from healthy dogs contained a median of 2.9 × 106 epithelial cells, comprising 100% epithelial cells (96% ciliated, 3% goblet, and 1% other) and no WBCs. Brushings from dogs with chronic cough had 4.5 × 106 epithelial cells, comprising 93% epithelial cells (86% ciliated, 2% goblet, and 12% other). Dogs with chronic cough had significantly greater percentages of WBCs (7%) and neutrophils (6%), compared with values for healthy dogs. Five dogs with chronic cough had no neutrophilic inflammation evident in BAL, but 4 of these had evidence of neutrophilic inflammation in brushings.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Neutrophils, but not goblet cells, were increased in brushings from dogs with chronic cough. Analysis of bronchial brushings provides information about airway inflammation that differs from that found by examination of BAL in some dogs with chronic cough and is a more sensitive indicator of airway inflammation than cytologic examination of BAL in these dogs.