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Eur Respir J. 2006 Nov;28(5):915-9. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

The clinical value of autofluorescence bronchoscopy for the diagnosis of lung cancer.

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Dept of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of autofluorescence bronchoscopy (AFB) in the routine work-up of lung cancer. Consecutive patients with atypical or suspicious cells in sputum or bronchial aspirate, no localising abnormality on chest radiography and nondiagnostic white-light bronchoscopic (WLB) results were recruited. WLB and AFB were performed sequentially during the same session. All abnormal areas detected by WLB, AFB or both were sampled and the biopsy specimens sent for histological examination. Sixty-two patients were recruited within the 32-month study period. Seventeen had no endobronchial lesion detected. Among the 45 patients with endobronchial lesions, 37 had lesions with a histopathological grade of mild dysplasia or less; of the eight patients who had a lesion with a histological grade of moderate dysplasia or worse, five were found to have lung cancer, two invasive lung cancer and three an intra-epithelial neoplasm (severe dysplasia). Lesions showing moderate dysplasia or worse were more commonly found in patients with suspicious cells than in those with atypical cells on sputum examination. AFB was more sensitive than WLB (91 versus 58%) at detecting these lesions, but less specific (26 versus 50%). A combination of white-light and autofluorescence bronchoscopy can increase the diagnostic yield of this invasive procedure in patients exhibiting abnormal sputum cytology.

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