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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1981 Mar;123(3):286-90.

Flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy for diagnosing pulmonary coccidioidomycosis.


To assess the diagnostic yield of flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FFB), we reviewed records of 30 patients who had (1) cultural and/or histologic evidence of coccidioidomycosis, (2) abnormal chest roentgenograms, and (3) undergone FFB. Each patient underwent a complete examination including sputum collection for smears and culture. As additional diagnostic information was needed, FFB was performed in all patients, followed by percutaneous needle aspiration in 4 patients and thoracotomy in 10. Prebronchoscopy sputum cultures yielded Coccidioides immitis in 6 of 30 patients (20%). Bronchoscopy provided specimens diagnostic of coccidioidomycosis in 16 of 30 patients (53%), and in 10 of 30 (33%), FFB was the first procedure of the examination to produce a diagnostic specimen. The diagnosis was first obtained by needle aspiration in 1 of 30 (3%), by extrathoracic specimens in 3 of 30 (10%), and by thoracotomy in 10 of 30 (33%). All 8 patients with a solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN) had nondiagnostic FFB and comprised the majority of patients not diagnosed until thoracotomy was performed. When patients with a SPN were excluded, 20 of 29 (69%) FFB procedures documented coccidioidal infection. Seven of 22 (32%) prebronchoscopy sputum collections compared with 17 of 29 (59%) FFB procedures produced positive cultures for C. immitis. One of 22 (5%) prebronchoscopy sputum collections, compared with smears and biopsies from 8 of 29 (28%) FFB procedures, produced immediate microscopic evidence of coccidioidomycosis. Coexisting pulmonary pathologic findings in 4 patients were uncovered by FFB. Except in patients with a SPN, FFB is a valuable procedure for documenting pulmonary coccidioidomycosis when sputum specimens are nondiagnostic.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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