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vol.36 issue6Analysis of 208 flexible bronchoscopies performed in an intensive care unit author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Medicina Intensiva

Print version ISSN 0210-5691


LUCENA, C.M. et al. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy in a respiratory intensive care unit. Med. Intensiva [online]. 2012, vol.36, n.6, pp.389-395. ISSN 0210-5691.

Objective: To describe the indications, diagnostic performance and safety of fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB) performed in a respiratory intensive care unit (RICU). Design: A prospective, observational study was carried out. Setting: A 6-bed RICU in a tertiary university hospital. Patients: Patients admitted to RICU who required FOB. Interventions: None. Main measurements: FOB indications and complications, endoscopic procedures, time required to perform FOB. Results: Sixty-nine out (23%) of the 297 patients admitted to the RICU underwent a total of 107 FOB. Sixty-eight percent of FOB were performed in patients on mechanical ventilation. FOB was performed for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in 88 (82%) and 19 cases (18%), respectively. The study of pulmonary infiltrates was the main indication for diagnostic FOB (44 cases; 50%), particularly in immunocompromised patients (24 cases; 27%). In immunocompromised patients the diagnostic performance of FOB was significantly higher than in immunocompetent subjects (48% vs 30%; p<0.01). No major complications were recorded. Only a significant drop in PaO2/FiO2 ratio was observed (182±74 vs 163±79; p<0.005) in patients undergoing bronchoalveolar lavage. Overall mortality in patients in the RICU was 14%. In patients requiring a single FOB procedure, mortality was 25%, versus 45% among those requiring more than one FOB procedure. Conclusions: These results show that FOB is used commonly in the RICU. It is a safe and fast procedure that contributes significantly to clinical management. Patients requiring additional FOB during admission to the RICU show high mortality.

Keywords : Fiberoptic bronchoscopy; Intensive care unit; Pulmonary infiltrates; Immunosuppression; Bronchoalveolar lavage.

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