Deaths and complications associated with respiratory endoscopy: a survey by the Japan Society for Respiratory Endoscopy in 2010

Respirology. 2012 Apr;17(3):478-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2011.02123.x.

Abstract

Background and objective: In order to survey the current status of the use and complications associated with respiratory endoscopy, the Japan Society for Respiratory Endoscopy conducted a nationwide postal questionnaire survey.

Methods: The survey was mailed to all 538 facilities certified by the society. The subjects were patients who underwent respiratory endoscopy in 2010. The numbers of procedures, and associated complications and deaths were investigated according to lesion and procedure using a specific inventory.

Results: The inventory was completed by 483 facilities (89.8%). The total number of diagnostic flexible bronchoscopy procedures performed was 103 978, and four patients died (0.004%). The complication rate according to lesion ranged from 0.51% to 2.06%, with the highest rate being observed in patients with diffuse lesions. The complication rate according to procedure ranged from 0.17% to 1.93%, with the highest rate being observed in patients who underwent forceps biopsy. The complication rate after forceps biopsy of solitary peripheral pulmonary lesions was 1.79% (haemorrhage: 0.73%, pneumothorax: 0.63%), and that after endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration of hilar and/or mediastinal lymph node lesions was 0.46%. Therapeutic bronchoscopy was performed in 3020 patients; one patient (0.03%) died due to haemorrhage induced by insertion of an expandable metallic stent. The complication rate according to procedure was highest for foreign body removal (2.2%). Medical pleuroscopy was performed in 1563 patients. The highest complication rate was for biopsy without electrocautery (1.86%). A total of 228 facilities (47.2%) experienced breakage of bronchoscopes and/or devices.

Conclusions: Respiratory endoscopy was performed safely, but education regarding complications caused by new techniques is necessary.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Bronchoscopy / instrumentation
  • Bronchoscopy / mortality*
  • Cause of Death*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Hemorrhage / mortality
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires