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Surveillance Bronchoscopy in Lung Transplant Recipients FREE TO VIEW

David S. Kukafka; Gerald M. O'Brien; Satoshi Furukawa; Gerard J. Criner
Author and Funding Information

From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, and the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia

1997 by the American College of Chest Physicians

Chest. 1997;111(2):377-381. doi:10.1378/chest.111.2.377
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Study objectives: To establish whether a consensus exists among active transplant centers regarding the use and interpretation of information obtained by surveillance bronchoscopic lung biopsy (SBLB).

Design: Prospective standardized questionnaire answered via mail and telephone communications.

Participants: A five page, 18-question survey was sent to all lung transplant programs listed by the United Network of Organ Sharing in North America, as well as eight selected international programs. Ninety-one surveys were sent to 83 North American and eight international programs. Seventy-four programs (81%) responded. Seventeen programs (19%) were excluded secondary to inactivity. The remaining 57 programs (63%) were included in final data analysis.

Interventions: None.

Results: Sixty-eight percent (39/57) of the responding programs perform SBLBs. Ninety-two percent of the programs performing SBLBs do so within the first month, and 69% continue to do so on a regular basis. Sixty-nine percent (27/39) of programs performing SBLBs continue to do so after 1 year. Eighty-six percent (32/37) of respondents believe that SBLB impacts on patient management at least 10% of the time. Technically, 90% (35/39) take biopsy specimens from more than one lobe per SBLB session. Fifty-nine percent (23/39) took 6 to 10 biopsy specimens per session, 33% (13/39) took three to five biopsy specimens, and 7% (4/39) took >10 biopsy specimens per session. Eighty-six percent (32/37) of the responding centers reported treating asymptomatic rejection at grade 2A, while 14% (5/37) waited until histologic grade 3A before beginning treatment. Complications from SBLB were minimal with <5% rates of pneumothorax, requirement for chest tube placements, or significant bleeding during SBLB reported by >95% of the programs performing SBLB.

Conclusion: Most active lung transplant centers perform SBLBs and do so on a regular basis. However, a wide range of opinion exists over the utility and technique of SBLB and the impact of its results influencing outcome in the lung transplant recipient. To answer these questions, a randomized multicentered trial or registry to determine the effect of SBLB on lung transplant recipient morbidity and mortality is required.




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