Pulmonary hemorrhage in fiberoptic transbronchial biopsy

Chest. 1976 Nov;70(5):584-8. doi: 10.1378/chest.70.5.584.


Transbronchial forceps biopsy via the flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope is described as a "safe," high-yielding procedure, but the potential danger of serious hemorrhage is of concern to chest physicians. In a collected series of 438 patients, the incidence of mild to "explosive" hemorrhage was 9 percent in "routine" cases, 29 percent (eight) in 31 immunosuppressed patients, and 45 percent (five) in 11 uremic patients. One death resulted from massive hemorrhage. A new "wedge" method of transbronchial forceps biopsy is now being utilized in our bronchoscopic unit. The tip of the flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope is lodged into the appropriate segmental bronchus to tamponade any bleeding and, thus, prevent blood from flooding the airway. Careful screening of patients and competence in procedural techniques are necessary. Otherwise, transbronchial forceps biopsy should be performed through a rigid open-tube bronchoscopicronchoscope or performed through a rigid open-tube bronchoscope or lung tissue should be obtained via thoracotomy.

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / complications
  • Asthma / complications
  • Biopsy / adverse effects
  • Biopsy / instrumentation
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / complications
  • Bronchoscopy / adverse effects
  • Fiber Optic Technology
  • Hemoptysis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypoventilation / complications
  • Hypoxia / complications
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications