Endobronchial cryobiopsy or forceps biopsy for lung cancer diagnosis

Ann Thorac Med. 2010 Oct;5(4):242-6. doi: 10.4103/1817-1737.69117.


Background: Invasive procedures such as bronchoscopic biopsy, bronchial washing, and bronchial brushing are widely used in diagnosis of lung cancers. The mean diagnostic rate with bronchoscopic forceps biopsy is 74% in central tumors. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of cryobiopsies in histopathological diagnosis.

Methods: Forty-one patients who had interventional bronchoscopy were included in this study. Three forceps biopsies and one cryobiopsy with cryorecanalization probe were obtained from each subject. Biopsies interpretations were done by one expert pathologist.

Results: Hemorrhage was the only complication in both procedures. There was no significant difference between these two procedures in the incidence of hemorrhage (P > 0.05). Mean diameters of samples taken with forceps biopsy and cryoprobe biopsy were 0.2 and 0.8 cm, respectively (P < 0.001). Thirty-two patients (78%) were diagnosed with forceps biopsies, and 38 patients (92.7%) were diagnosed with cryoprobe biopsies (P = 0.031).

Conclusions: We concluded that cryoprobe biopsies were more successful than forceps biopsies in diagnosis. Nevertheless, further investigations are warranted to determine an efficacy of cryoprobe biopsy procedures and a rationale to use as a part of routine flexible bronchoscopy.

Keywords: Biopsy; cryobiopsy; cryotherapy; interventional bronchoscopy; lung cancer.