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Keywords:

  • bronchial washing;
  • bronchoscopy;
  • cytology;
  • lung cancer

Abstract

Introduction:  We evaluated the diagnostic yield of cytologic analysis of bronchial washing in addition to forceps biopsy on the basis of bronchoscopic appearance and histologic type in lung cancer.

Methods:  This retrospective study included 611 patients who had lung cancer and underwent bronchoscopic procedures between April 2003 and December 2008. Bronchoscopic appearance was classified into six types (tumor, infiltrative, necrotic, normal, compressive and aspecific) on the basis of endoscopic morphology.

Results:  The forceps biopsy were positive in 492 cases (80.5%), and the diagnostic yield of the combination of forceps biopsy with cytologic analysis of bronchial washing was 84.1% (514/611 cases), that is, a statistically significant increase of 3.6% (P < 0.001). Washing cytologic analysis in the case of tumor, infiltrative and necrotic lesions had higher diagnostic yields than that in the case of normal, compressive and aspecific lesions (41.7% vs 29.3%), but its diagnostic yield did not increase on combination with forceps biopsy (P > 0.05). However, in the case of normal and compressive lesions, the addition of forceps biopsy to washing cytologic analysis significantly increased the diagnostic yield (P < 0.05). The histologic type of lung cancer did not significantly affect the difference in diagnostic yield between forceps biopsy alone and the combination of forceps biopsy and washing cytologic analysis (P > 0.05).

Conclusions:  The combination of forceps biopsy and washing cytologic analysis offers a better diagnostic yield than biopsy alone in diagnosing lung cancer. Both procedures should be performed during bronchoscopy even if no endobronchial lesion is present.

Please cite this paper as: Lee GD, Kim HC, Kim YE, Lee SJ, Cho YJ, Jeong YY, Jeon K-N, Jang IS, Lee JD and Hwang YS. Value of cytologic analysis of bronchial washings in lung cancer on the basis of bronchoscopic appearance. Clin Respir J 2013; 7: 128–134.