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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 211-215

Indications for performing flexible bronchoscopy: Trends over 34 years at a tertiary care hospital

Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ritesh Agarwal
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012, Haryana and Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-2113.156213

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Background and Aim: Due to its easy maneuverability, patient comfort and documented safety as an outpatient procedure, flexible bronchoscopy (FB) has replaced rigid bronchoscopy for routine diagnostic use. Herein, we report our 34-year experience with outpatient performance of FB. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of all FB procedures performed between September 1979 and November 2013 (period I: 1979-1990; period II: 1991-2000; period III: 2001-2013) in a tertiary care hospital. Demographic profile of patients, indications for performing FB, and annual and seasonal trends were noted from the records. Results: A total of 24,814 bronchoscopies were performed during the study period. The mean (SD) age of patients (71.6% males) was 48.4 (15.5) years. The number of procedures performed per decade showed an absolute increase by 322%. The most common indication for FB was suspected bronchogenic carcinoma (32.2%) followed by pulmonary infections (18.6%) and interstitial lung diseases (13%). The proportion of annual cases due to interstitial lung diseases (3.9% in period I to 16.2% in period III) increased over the years, whereas disorders such as hemoptysis and pleural effusion showed a declining trend as an indication for FB. A seasonal trend was observed for diseases such as sarcoidosis, bronchogenic carcinoma and pulmonary infections. Six deaths were encountered during the study period in patients undergoing FB. Conclusion: FB is increasingly being performed in the diagnosis of respiratory disorders and is a safe outpatient procedure. Although bronchogenic carcinoma remains a common indication for performing FB, benign conditions such as pulmonary infections and sarcoidosis constitute important indications in the Indian scenario.

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