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Diagnostic Value of Bronchoalveolar Lavage for Diagnosis of Suspected Peripheral Lung Cancer


Bezel, Pascal; Tischler, Verena; Robinson, Cecile; Baumueller, Stephan; Bode-Lesniewska, Beata; Kohler, Malcolm; Freitag, Lutz; Franzen, Daniel (2016). Diagnostic Value of Bronchoalveolar Lavage for Diagnosis of Suspected Peripheral Lung Cancer. Clinical Lung Cancer, 17(5):e151-e156.

Abstract

BACKGROUND There is a paucity of data concerning the benefit of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) for the diagnosis of suspected peripheral lung cancer (PLC). The aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostic value of BAL for the diagnosis of suspected PLC. PATIENTS AND METHODS All flexible bronchoscopies that included BAL among other modalities (brush, forceps, washing) for the diagnosis of a suspected PLC performed between 2009 and 2013 were analyzed in this retrospective study. RESULTS A total of 260 patients were included. Malignancy was present in 61%. BAL's sensitivity for the diagnosis of malignancy was 29%, and overall diagnostic yield of BAL was 46%. However, only 1% of cancer diagnoses would have been missed in the absence of BAL. In the multivariable analysis, the size of lesion (odds ratio [OR], 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.33; P = .023), the presence of bronchus sign (OR, 4.73; 95% CI, 1.06-21.08; P = .042), and the presence of mediastinal/hilar lymphadenopathy (OR, 3.37; 95% CI, 1.53-7.41; P = .002) were associated with improved BAL true-positive ratio relating to diagnosis of malignancy. However, the effect of lesion size on sensitivity was small (area under the curve, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.23-0.40; P < .001). Ground-glass lesions were not associated with improved BAL diagnostic value. The number needed to test for BAL for the diagnosis of malignancy or pulmonary infection was 37. CONCLUSION Conventional BAL has a low diagnostic value for the diagnosis of suspected PLC, and the low number needed to test does not qualify BAL as a recommended routine investigation for the diagnosis of suspected PLC for either solid or ground-glass lesions.

Abstract

BACKGROUND There is a paucity of data concerning the benefit of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) for the diagnosis of suspected peripheral lung cancer (PLC). The aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostic value of BAL for the diagnosis of suspected PLC. PATIENTS AND METHODS All flexible bronchoscopies that included BAL among other modalities (brush, forceps, washing) for the diagnosis of a suspected PLC performed between 2009 and 2013 were analyzed in this retrospective study. RESULTS A total of 260 patients were included. Malignancy was present in 61%. BAL's sensitivity for the diagnosis of malignancy was 29%, and overall diagnostic yield of BAL was 46%. However, only 1% of cancer diagnoses would have been missed in the absence of BAL. In the multivariable analysis, the size of lesion (odds ratio [OR], 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.33; P = .023), the presence of bronchus sign (OR, 4.73; 95% CI, 1.06-21.08; P = .042), and the presence of mediastinal/hilar lymphadenopathy (OR, 3.37; 95% CI, 1.53-7.41; P = .002) were associated with improved BAL true-positive ratio relating to diagnosis of malignancy. However, the effect of lesion size on sensitivity was small (area under the curve, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.23-0.40; P < .001). Ground-glass lesions were not associated with improved BAL diagnostic value. The number needed to test for BAL for the diagnosis of malignancy or pulmonary infection was 37. CONCLUSION Conventional BAL has a low diagnostic value for the diagnosis of suspected PLC, and the low number needed to test does not qualify BAL as a recommended routine investigation for the diagnosis of suspected PLC for either solid or ground-glass lesions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Pathology and Molecular Pathology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Pneumology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Bronchoalveolar lavage; Bronchoscopy; Diagnostic value; Lung cancer; Pulmonary infection
Language:English
Date:9 January 2016
Deposited On:17 May 2016 08:39
Last Modified:30 Jan 2017 08:18
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1525-7304
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2015.12.012
PubMed ID:26831835

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