Value of bronchoalveolar lavage combined with transbronchial lung biopsy in the diagnosis of peripheral lung cancer.

C. C. Tang, C. J. Hsiao, H. Chen, C. H. Wang, H. C. Lin, C. T. Yu, H. P. Kuo

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5 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a safe and established procedure to evaluate interstitial lung diseases and pulmonary tuberculosis. The diagnostic rate of peripheral lung cancer invisible through bronchoscopy applied by transbronchial lung biopsy (TBLB) is still low. The study was designed to evaluate whether BAL combined with TBLB might improve the positive value in the diagnosis of peripheral lung cancer. METHODS: Thirty-seven of 72 patients who presented with peripheral lung lesions in chest radiography were proven to have a malignancy according to the final reports of cytology, histology, and clinical evidence. Each patient received BAL with or without TBLB. The patterns of chest radiography of the malignancies included 33 of infiltrative type and 4 of massive or nodular type. RESULTS: BAL alone revealed positive malignant cells in 18 of 37 cases (sensitivity 48.6%), and the diagnostic value significantly increased to 73.0% (p < 0.05) with BAL + TBLB. In the infiltrative type of lung cancer, the diagnostic rate of BAL + TBLB (78.8%) was significantly improved compared to that of BAL alone (51.5%, p < 0.05). There was no difference of diagnostic value in those with nodular type. BAL + TBLB can achieve a very high diagnostic rate (100%) in cases of metastatic malignancy (n = 4). Only 2 patients developed bleeding post BAL + TBLB, and it was easily controlled by epinephrine spraying. One patient developed self-limited hemoptysis. CONCLUSION: BAL + TBLB is a safe and valuable procedure to achieve a high sensitivity rate in the diagnosis of peripheral lung cancer, especially of the infiltrative type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-700
Number of pages6
JournalChanggeng yi xue za zhi / Changgeng ji nian yi yuan = Chang Gung medical journal / Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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