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Respir Med. 2003 Jan;97(1):27-9.

Yield of bronchoscopy in the diagnosis of neoplasm metastatic to lung.

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Respiratory Department, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain.


The yield of fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FB) in the diagnosis of pulmonary metastases has not been conveniently analyzed. With the advances in the surgery of pulmonary metastases, there is a need to evaluate the diagnostic yield and the usefulness of FB to exclude other diseases with similar radiological patterns. To determine the value of FB in the diagnosis of pulmonary metastases we have retrospectively analyzed our experience in 113 patients with proven pulmonary metastases. An endobronchial lesion was identified in 57/113 (50.4%). The most frequent tumors with endobronchial lesions were thyroid (100%), head-neck (67%) and breast carcinomas (59%). The highest diagnostic yield was obtained combining techniques of brushing, washing and biopsy (72.6%); in cases with endobronchial lesions (84.2%) and with certain histological types (head-neck 100%; breast 90.9% and colon 84.6%). The most frequent radiological findings were single or multiple nodules (77.9%). Atelectasis were associated with endobronchial lesions. In conclusion, bronchoscopy is a valuable diagnostic procedure in selected patients with metastatic lung disease.

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