Send to

Choose Destination
Lung India. 2020 Mar-Apr;37(2):114-119. doi: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_454_19.

Rigid bronchoscopic interventions for central airway obstruction - An observational study.

Author information

Department of Pulmonary Medicine, SGPGIMS, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Department of Radiodiagnosis, SGPGIMS, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Department of Anesthesiology, SGPGIMS, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.



Central airway obstruction (CAO) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with thoracic malignancies. In this prospective study, we describe the role of rigid bronchoscopy (RB) in the multimodality management of CAO.


Prospective description of different rigid bronchoscopic techniques used for CAO between July 2016 and July 2019.


A total of 152 procedures (124 therapeutic/palliative and 28 diagnostics) in 111 adults and 10 pediatric patients were performed. The mean age in 111 adults (66 males) and 10 pediatric (5 males) patients were 45.4 ± 15.8 (range 16-80) and 5.4 ± 3.6 (range 1-10) years, respectively. Palliation of the airway obstruction (48.8%) and establishment of diagnosis (23.2%) were the main indications of RB in our study. Mechanical debulking in 53 (57%) and airway dilatation in 40 (43%) patients were the most utilized interventions during the palliative or therapeutic RB. There was a significant decrease in mean (modified Medical Research Council) dyspnea scale from 3.9 ± 1.0 to 1.42 ± 0.63 and increase in mean Visual Analogue Scale from 2.06 ± 0.74 to 8.7 ± 0.54 after the procedure (P < 0.0001). Additional therapy was undertaken in 38 (31.4%) of 121 patients, and surgical excision was the primary form of definitive treatment in 17 patients Moderate bleeding was encountered in 13.3% of the procedures mainly in the diagnostic RB. The mean procedure duration was 28.4 (range, 11-49) min and 13.2 (7-22) min in the adults and pediatric patients, respectively. A total of 31 patients succumbed to the illness due to the progressive nature of their disease.


An individualized approach to interventional procedures is safe and effective way to achieve and maintain palliation of CAO. RB with multimodality treatment achieves the goal in majority of the patients.


Central airway obstruction; diagnostic rigid bronchoscopy; interventional pulmonology; lung cancer; therapeutic rigid bronchoscopy; tracheal stenosis

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Medknow Publications and Media Pvt Ltd Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center