PURPOSE: We aim to review the most common indications for performing fiberoptic bronchoscopy in the ICU settings.
METHODS: We reviewed medical records of patients admitted to the ICU who underwent FOB in our hospital from January 2006 to March 2008.
RESULTS: A total of 58 records were included. FOB was performed for diagnostic purposes in 27 out 58 patients (47%) mainly for diagnosis of pneumonia in 23 out of 58 (40%), airway inspection in 4 out of 58 (7%). FOB was performed for therapeutic reasons; mainly atelectasis in 26 out of 58 patients (45 %), predominantly on the left side in 17 out of 26 patients (65%). Of those 17 patients, 15 had complete collapse of the left side (88%), and 2 had partial collapse (11%). Atelectasis was bilateral in 3 (12%) and right side in 6 (23%). After the procedure, resolution of atelectasis was achieved in 20 out of 26 patients (77%), atelectasis was not resolved in 2 (8%), and the outcome was unknown in 4 (15%). FOB was performed for both therapeutic and diagnostic purposes in 5 out 58 patients (8%).
CONCLUSION: The most common indications for performing FOB in our ICU settings are for resolution of atelectasis in 45%, followed by diagnosis of pneumonia in 40%. FOB is very effective in resolving atelectasis in 77%. Atelectasis was more common on the left side in 65% of the cases.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: FOB is very useful both as diagnostic and therapeutic tools in the ICU. However, further studies are required to evaluate its cost effectiveness.
DISCLOSURE: Michel Jeannot, None.