Elisabeth Bendstrup

Integration of cryobiopsies for interstitial lung disease diagnosis is a valid and safe diagnostic strategy-experiences based on 250 biopsy procedures

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Background: Transbronchial cryobiopsies has become increasingly used in the diagnostic workup in patients suspected of having interstitial lung disease. The procedure is associated with less complications, morbidity and mortality compared to surgical lung biopsies although with a diagnostic yield that is not as high, but close to that of surgical lung biopsies. The aim of the present study was to describe the complications and diagnostic yield and their prognostic factors.

Methods: All patients undergoing transbronchial cryobiopsies at the Department of Respiratory Diseases and Allergy, Aarhus University Hospital, were included in this prospective observational cohort study.

Results: A total of 250 patients were included [61% male, mean age 66 years (range, 22-81 years)]. Pneumothorax was detected in 70 (28%) of the patients, moderate hemorrhage in 53 (21%) and severe hemorrhage in 2 (1%) of the patients. Hemorrhage was associated with central biopsies, but not with anticoagulant therapy. None of the complications were related to lung function, exercise capacity, biopsy or probe size. Only one patient experienced an acute exacerbation. Three-month mortality was 0.4% (1 patient), caused by cancer and unrelated to the procedure. Cryobiopsies contributed to the final diagnosis in 72% of the patients and after multidisciplinary team discussion, a consensus diagnosis was obtained in 82% of the patients. The gender, the total sum of biopsy sizes, number of biopsies and presence of more than 50% alveolar tissue in biopsies increased the diagnostic yield.

Conclusions: Our study confirms that using cryobiopsies in the diagnostic setup for interstitial lung diseases is safe with a limited risk of acute exacerbations and mortality. Cryobiopsies contribute to the diagnosis in the majority of patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Pages (from-to)1455-1465
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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