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J Heart Lung Transplant. 1996 Feb;15(2):196-205.

Diagnostic yield and therapeutic impact of flexible bronchoscopy in lung transplant recipients.

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1
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial biopsy are often used for definitive diagnosis of lung rejection and infection in lung transplant recipients. Although protected specimen brushing is of value in nosocomial bacterial pneumonia, its role in lung transplant recipients had not been widely reported. The aim of the study is to review the diagnostic yield and therapeutic impact of flexible bronchoscopy with the use of a combination of bronchoalveolar lavage, protected specimen brushing, and transbronchial biopsy in lung transplant recipients.

METHODS:

We reviewed flexible bronchoscopy data in 83 transplant recipients between February 1990 and March 1995. Only those with bronchoalveolar lavage, protected specimen brushing, and transbronchial biopsy were included in the analysis. There were 282 bronchoscopies performed for clinically suspected lung rejection or infection (clinical bronchoscopy) and 38 bronchoscopies for follow-up of a previously detected histologic abnormality (follow-up bronchoscopy).

RESULTS:

The total yields for rejection and infection for clinical and follow-up bronchoscopies were 67.4% and 58.9%, respectively. Acute rejection was detected with transbronchial biopsy in 26.2% and 34.2% of clinical and follow-up bronchoscopies, respectively. Cytomegalovirus pneumonitis was detected with transbronchial biopsy in 4.0% and 11.4% of clinical and follow-up bronchoscopies, respectively. Overall, bacteria was the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infection. When used together, protected specimen brushing and bronchoalveolar lavage were complementary techniques for detection of bacterial lower respiratory tract infection with a significantly higher proportion detected with protected specimen brushing ( > or = 10(3) colony forming units/ml) compared with bronchoalveolar lavage ( > or = 10(5) colony forming units/ml) (p < 0.001). Complications were hemorrhage (1.9%), pneumothorax (2.5%) and transient hypoxemia (10.5%). The results had an impact on management of rejection and infection in 57.8% of clinical and 39.5% of follow-up bronchoscopies.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that bronchoscopy, with the use of a combination of bronchoalveolar lavage, protected specimen brushing, and transbronchial biopsy, is safe with a high diagnostic yield and therapeutic impact for treating lung transplant recipients.

PMID:
8672524
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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