Pediatric bronchoscopy

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2001 Feb;31(2):150-64. doi: 10.1002/1099-0496(200102)31:2<150::aid-ppul1024>;2-6.


Diagnostic flexible endoscopy for pediatric respiratory diseases is performed in many centers. Technical advances have resulted in performance of interventional bronchoscopies, and new diagnostic indications are being explored. Indications with documented clinical benefit include congenital or acquired progressive or unexplained airway obstruction. Pulmonary infections in immunodeficient children who do not respond to empirical antibiotic treatment may be diagnosed by bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). The potential usefulness of bronchoscopy and BAL for managing chronic cough, wheeze, or selected cases with asthma or cystic fibrosis requires further study. The use of transbronchial biopsies (TBB) is established in pediatric lung transplantation. The role of TBB in the diagnosis of chronic interstitial lung disease in children remains to be determined. For a number of interventional applications, rigid endoscopy is required, and pediatric bronchoscopists should be trained in its use. Complications in pediatric bronchoscopy are rare, but severe nosocomial infection or overdosing with local anesthetics has occurred. The issues of quality control, video documentation, interobserver variability of findings, and educational standards will have to be addressed in the future as bronchoscopy use becomes less restricted to only large pediatric pulmonary units.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Airway Obstruction / therapy
  • Anesthesia, Local
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage / methods
  • Bronchoscopy / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Cough / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Lung Transplantation
  • Respiratory Sounds / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / diagnosis*