Send to

Choose Destination
Chest. 1989 Feb;95(2):299-303.

Safety and efficacy of using high-dose topical and nebulized anesthesia to obtain endobronchial cultures.

Author information

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Veterans Administration, Lexington, KY 40511.


We evaluated the safety and efficacy of high-dose topical and nebulized airway anesthesia in normal volunteers and in patients undergoing diagnostic fiberoptic bronchoscopy. Lidocaine solution (4 percent) was used for gargling, for spraying the palate and oropharynx with an atomizer, and for nebulization with an air-powered nebulizer (mean total dose, 1,682 mg) and 2 percent lidocaine (Xylocaine) jelly for anesthetizing nasal passages. In six normal subjects and in eight patients, lidocaine blood levels were measured at baseline, after gargling, after spraying, after nebulization, and then at 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60 min; 19 normal subjects and ten patients underwent the same anesthesia protocol but had no blood drawn. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy was performed in 21 normal volunteers and in 18 patients and cultures obtained using the protected specimen brush. Additional endobronchial lidocaine (mean 256 mg) was given to the 18 patients after collecting the microbiology specimens. Peak lidocaine blood levels remained below 6 micrograms/ml in all cases. Cough and discomfort during bronchoscopic examination was absent or minimal in 17 of 21 normal subjects (80 percent) and in 14 of 18 patients (77 percent) and was severe in only one instance (5 percent). There were no related complications. Using only topical and nebulized anesthesia is safe and effective for performing fiberoptic bronchoscopy, especially when bacterial cultures are to be obtained and endobronchial instillation of lidocaine must be avoided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center