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BMC Pulm Med. 2017 Nov 28;17(1):156. doi: 10.1186/s12890-017-0508-1.

Fever after bronchoscopy: serum procalcitonin enables early diagnosis of post-interventional bacterial infection.

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Department of Pneumonology, Krems University Hospital, Mitterweg 10, Krems, Austria.
Karl Landsteiner University of Health Science, Krems, Austria.
Department of Pneumonology, Krems University Hospital, Mitterweg 10, Krems, Austria.
Karl Landsteiner University of Health Science, Krems, Austria.



The aim of this study was to differentiate unspecific and self-limiting fever after bronchoscopy from fever due to infection by using serum procalcitonin, C-reactive protein and neutrophil count. Furthermore, frequency of fever after bronchoscopy and procedures as possible risk factors were evaluated.


Three hundred and fourteen consecutive patients were included. All bronchoscopies were performed using jet-ventilation and general anesthesia. Patients were analyzed according to interventions performed during bronchoscopy and laboratory results. Microbiological assessment was done in patients who developed fever to prove or rule out a bacterial infection.


Forty-four patients showed fever within 24 h following bronchoscopy (14%). A bacterial infection was proven in 11 patients with fever (3.5%). Procalcitonin, neutrophil count and C-reactive protein were significantly higher in patients with fever after bronchoscopy compared to non-fever patients. To predict bacterial infection in the receiver operating analysis, procalcitonin had the highest area under the curve (0.942; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.768 to 1.000; p = <0.001), followed by neutrophil count (AUC, 0.804; 95% CI, 0.606 to 0.946; p = 0.005), whereas CRP levels where not statistically significant. Endoscopic airway recanalization was the only intervention that induced fever more frequently than all other interventions (OR 13.629).


Fever is frequently seen after bronchoscopy and in some cases caused by bacterial infection. Procalcitonin might be useful to distinguish a bacterial infection from unspecific self-limiting fever. Airway recanalization is a procedure that seems to induce fever significantly more often than other bronchoscopic interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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