Fiberoptic bronchoscopy in the diagnosis of lung cancer.

Original article


Mohammad H. Zew, Kamal H. Jauoda, Faiz M.Alsadawiya.

Department of Medicine; 7th October Hospital, Benghazi; Libya

Garyounis Medical Journal Vol. 21, No.1. 2004:52-56


Background: Our bronchoscopy unit was created in 1979, only eleven years after the introduction of flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FFB) by Ikeda. It has been functioning continuously for more than 20 years, practically, as the only FFB unit in the eastern half of the country. Unfortunately, a decline in the diagnostic yield of bronchoscopic biopsies was noted during the last few years. Aims: To analyze clinical, radiological, and histopathologic characteristics of patients with lung cancer bronchoscopied in the last 10 years focusing attention on the diagnostic yield rates of bronchoscopic biopsy. Methods: Retrospective analysis of data from all patients who underwent FFB in the period from 1990 to 2000 for the suspicion of bronchogenic carcinoma. Results: 2368 patients were analyzed (1687 males and 681 females). The mean age was 57.8 years, (range 34 to 87yrs). The rate of major complications was 1.3% and mortality rate was 0.04%. Bronchial lesion suggestive of neoplastic process was found in 1408 patients (59.5%). The overall yield rate of forceps biopsy was 68.3%. A significant decline in the yield rates was noted from 76.6% in 1990 to 54.2% in 2000. Conclusions: The decline in the biopsy yield rates cannot be explained by a change in the procedure or the tools used or a change in the operating personnel. Possible causes are discussed.

Keywords: Fiberoptic bronchoscopy in the diagnosis of lung cancer.