time-honored method of identifying bacterial pathogens that are
potentially responsible for nosocomial pneumonia in patients
receiving mechanical ventilation is the microscopic examination of
specimens obtained by endotracheal aspiration (EA). This technique is
the simplest noninvasive means of obtaining respiratory secretions from
patients receiving mechanical ventilation; it is readily performed at
the bedside and requires minimal training by health-care providers.
This section focuses on clinical studies evaluating diagnostic
procedures using endotracheal specimens (ie, cytologic
examination, antibody coating, elastin fibers, Gram’s stain, and
culture) in immunocompetent adults with suspected VAP.