Background: Interventional pulmonology is a rapidly evolving subspecialty of pulmonary medicine that offers advanced consultative and procedural services to patients with airway diseases, pleural diseases, as well as in the diagnosis and management of patients with thoracic malignancy.
Areas of uncertainty: The institution of lung cancer screening modalities as well as the search of additional minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment modalities for lung cancer and other chronic lung diseases has led to an increased focus on the field of interventional pulmonology. Rapid advancements in the field over the last 2 decades has led to development of various new minimally invasive bronchoscopic approaches and techniques for patients with cancer as well as for patients with chronic lung diseases.
Data sources: A review of literature was performed using PubMed database to identify all articles published up till October 2020 relevant to the field of interventional pulmonology and bronchoscopy. The reference list of each article was searched to look for additional articles, and all relevant articles were included in the article.
Therapeutic advances: Newer technologies are now available such navigation platforms to diagnose and possibly treat peripheral pulmonary nodules, endobronchial ultrasound in diagnosis of mediastinal and hilar adenopathy as well as cryobiopsy in the diagnosis of diffuse lung diseases. In addition, flexible and rigid bronchoscopy continues to provide new and expanding ability to manage patients with benign and malignant central airway obstruction. Interventions are also available for diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema that were traditionally treated with medical management alone.
Conclusions: With continued high quality research and an increasing body of evidence, interventional bronchoscopy has enormous potential to provide both safe and effective options for patients with a variety of lung diseases.
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