einstein (São Paulo). 30/Oct/2018;16(4):eAO4380.

Indications, clinical outcomes and complications of 1,949 flexible bronchoscopies

Altair da Silva Costa Jr ORCID logo , Paulo Rogerio Scordamaglio ORCID logo , Iunis Suzuki ORCID logo , Addy Lidvina Mejia Palomino ORCID logo , Marcia Jacomelli ORCID logo

DOI: 10.31744/einstein_journal/2018AO4380



To describe indications, clinical outcomes and complications of flexible bronchoscopy.


A descriptive observational study of bronchoscopies performed at the endoscopy service of Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein . Demographic (age, gender and origin) and medical (indications and results of endoscopy and diagnostic tests, such as biopsy collection, lavage, cytology and culture) data were analyzed. Electronic medical records with incomplete data or reporting interventional procedures were excluded.


Over a three-year period (2013 to 2016), a total of 1,949 bronchoscopies were performed by respiratory endoscopy team and anesthesia specialists of the hospital. The mean age of patients was 57.7±21.9 years (range of 3 days to 99 years), with prevalence of males (56.4%). The procedures were mostly (86.3%) elective and 30.7% were carried out in the intensive care unit. Major indications for bronchoscopy were infection or secretion (42.4%), followed by suspected neoplasm (10.8%). Endoscopic changes were reported in 91.9% of cases, with more than one change described in approximately 6.9% of patients. Positive results were obtained via direct testing or culture in 36.3% and 53.9% of 1,399 bronchoalveolar lavages, respectively. The overall diagnostic yield (bronchoalveolar lavage and biopsy) was 72.6%. Mild adverse event rate was 7.2%. The rate of severe adverse events requiring additional intervention was 0.5% (pneumothorax, 0.4%; severe bleeding with patient death, 0.1%).


Lower airway endoscopy is critical for respiratory disease assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Flexible bronchoscopy is associated with good diagnostic yield and minimal inherent risk.

Indications, clinical outcomes and complications of 1,949 flexible bronchoscopies