[Immediate complications following flexible bronchoscopy: retrospective analysis of 1079 procedures]

Rev Med Chil. 2014 Mar;142(3):299-304. doi: 10.4067/S0034-98872014000300003.
[Article in Spanish]


Background: Flexible bronchoscopy is a useful diagnostic tool with a relative low rate of complications.

Aim: To analyze post procedure risk of complications after flexible bronchoscopy with transbronchial or bronchial biopsy.

Material and methods: The electronic database of a bronchoscopy unit at a general Hospital was analyzed. All procedures performed between 2009 and 2011 were reviewed and complications recorded. The primary outcome measure was the risk for complications defined as the percentage of procedures complicated by hemorrhage, pneumothorax, desaturation < 80% and other complications. We used a logistic regression model to explore the association between each procedure characteristic and complication.

Results: One thousand seventy nine procedures were included in the analysis. Eight percent had complications. Among these, the frequency of hemorrhage was 5.9% and pneumothorax was 0.3%. Factors associated with complications were exclusive use of topical anesthesia with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.72 (confidence intervals (CI): 1.04-2.86), regular or bad intolerance to the procedure with an OR 4.70 (CI: 3.00-7.38) and performing biopsies of the upper lobes with an OR of 1.76 (CI: 1.04-2.97).

Conclusions: Exclusive use of topical anesthesia, performing biopsies of the upper lobes and procedure tolerance were risk factors associated with complications following bronchoscopic biopsies.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Bronchoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Bronchoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors