Induced sputum in interstitial lung diseases

Elizabeth Fireman*, Yehuda Lerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Induced sputum is a particularly useful procedure since it provides information on the cellular and molecular constituents in inflammation. Extensive work has demonstrated the application of induced sputum in the management of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic bronchitis, but less attention has been paid to its efficacy in diagnosing interstitial lung diseases. This review analyzes the applications of induced sputum in the assessment of sarcoidosis, nongranulomatous interstitial lung diseases, occupational lung diseases and other systemic diseases with or without lung involvement. RECENT FINDINGS: T cell subsets in induced sputum in combination with pulmonary function testing can serve as predictors with high specificity and sensitivity in diagnosing sarcoidosis, using multivariate logistic regression models which can be easily implemented in clinical practice. Differential cell counts in induced sputum are as useful as bronchoalveolar lavage for identifying neutrophilic inflammation in patients with nongranulomatous interstitial lung diseases (e.g. idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) and detecting chronic rejection in bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. Sputum analysis has also been shown to be a useful tool for diagnosing, assessing and monitoring occupational lung disorders. SUMMARY: We suggest integrating induced sputum technology to the well-established criteria for the diagnosis of interstitial lung diseases, especially when there are clinical contraindications for performing bronchoscopy or when tissue confirmation is absent for any reason.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-322
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Induced sputum
  • Occupational exposures
  • Sarcoidosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Induced sputum in interstitial lung diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this