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Eur Respir J. 2002 Feb;19(2):326-32.

Bronchial bacterial colonization in patients with resectable lung carcinoma.

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Institutul National de Pneumoftiziologie Marius Nasta Bucharest, Romania.


The pattern and clinical implications of bronchial bacterial colonization have been widely investigated in patients with chronic lung disease, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The main aim of this study was to determine the frequency and risk factors for bronchial colonization in lung cancer patients who have undergone surgical resection. Forty-one patients with resectable lung cancer (22 (54%) active smokers, 52+/-23 pack-yrs) with a mean forced expiratory volume in one second of 80+/-16% predicted, were studied with bilateral protected specimen brush and lung tissue biopsy during the surgical procedure. Quantitative bacterial culture, susceptibility tests and histological examination of samples were performed. Bronchial colonization with > or = 1 potential pathogenic micro-organism was found in 17 of 41 (41%) patients. The most frequent strains isolated were: Haemophilus influenzae (35%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (13%) and Pseudomonas spp. (9%). The risk factors for bronchial colonization were central location of the tumour (odds ratio (OR)=9.2, confidence interval (CI) 95%=2.1-39.6, p=1.003) and increased body mass index (OR=1.6, CI 95%=1.2-2.2, p=0.005). The frequency of postoperative infectious pulmonary complications was low (five cases (12%)) and no relationship was observed with bronchial colonization. Patients with resectable lung carcinoma had a high rate of bronchial colonization (41%), mainly with potential pathogenic microorganisms. The independent risk factors for colonization in these patients were central location of the tumour and a high body mass index.

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