Background: Variety of benign and malignant lesions of respiratory system presents as intrabronchial mass lesions. Present study was carried out to study the spectrum of intrabronchial lesions and role of flexible flexible bronchoscopy in their diagnosis.
Methods: Retrospective study of case-records of patients with intrabronchial mass lesions diagnosed by flexible bronchoscopy, bronchial washings and bronchial biopsy between January 2004 and June 2006.
Results: Out of the 696 flexible bronchoscopies done during the study period, intrabronchial mass lesions were evident in 74 patients (10.6%) (age range 21-86 years; 60 males). Fifty (68%) lesions were malignant, eighteen (24%) lesions were benign while six (8%) lesions were inconclusive. Diagnostic yield was about 92%; repeat bronchoscopy for inconclusive results improved the diagnostic yield.
Conclusions: Though malignant lesions are common, benign lesions remain important causes of intrabronchial mass lesions. Bronchoscopy with adequate sampling is an essential diagnostic modality for confirming the diagnosis of such lesions.