The value of fiberoptic bronchoscopy in the management of pulmonary collapse

Chest. 1978 Jun;73(6):817-20. doi: 10.1378/chest.73.6.817.


Nineteen fiberoptic bronchoscopic procedures were performed on ten patients for the treatment of pulmonary collapse. All but two patients were being treated for severe, life-threatening nonpulmonary diseases. Thick, tenacious, and, at times, purulent mucous plugs were successfully aspirated from the bronchial passages. Complete to partial radiologic reexpansion of the collapsed pulmonary region was observed following all but one procedure. Significant improvement in blood gas levels was also noticed immediately after the procedure. Bronchoscopic examination in these seriously ill patients did not cause any complications. The therapeutic value of fiberoptic bronchoscopic procedures in patients developing pulmonary collapse due to thick secretions and mucous plugs was demonstrated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucus*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Pulmonary Atelectasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Atelectasis / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Atelectasis / therapy*
  • Radiography
  • Suction / methods*


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oxygen