DS. Jeona (Dr), HC. Kima (Prof), YJ. Junga (Prof), CM. Choia (Prof), WJ. Ji*a (Prof)

a Asan Medical Center, Seoul, KOREA, REPUBLIC OF

* wonjujnji@amc.seoul.kr

Background: Although the field of interventional pulmonology has grown significantly over the past few decades, the use of rigid bronchoscopy in South Korea is still limited. The aim of this study was to analyze our clinical experience of rigid bronchoscopy for central airway diseases at a single tertiary center during 3 years period.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all cases who underwent rigid bronchoscopy from April 2019 to March 2022 at Asan Medical Center in South Korea. All rigid bronchoscopies were performed under general anesthesia in operating room or intensive care unit. Total 83 rigid bronchoscopies were performed on 58 patients.

Results: Among 58 patients, 35 (60.3%) were men, the median age was 59.0 years (IQR, 54.0-66.0 years). The most common etiologies of airway pathologies were malignancy (n=35, 60.3%), after that, TB stenosis (n=9, 15.5%), post lung transplantation stenosis (n=6, 10.3%), and other benign stenosis (n=8, 13.7%). The level of airway obstruction included mainly trachea (n=34, 41.0%), right (n=18, 21.7%) and left (n=18, 21.7%) main bronchus. The average of procedure time was 53.1 minutes (95% confidence interval[CI], 48.0-58.6 minutes). Stent insertion was done in 75 cases (90.4%), stent removal or reposition was done in 6 cases (7.2%), and tumor removal was done in 2 cases (2.4%). Silicone stent was the most frequently used in 71.1% of patients. Successful rate of procedure was 94.0%. Complications occurred in 9 procedures (10.8%), most common complication was bleeding (6.0%); however, there was no fatal complication case.

Conclusions: Therapeutic rigid bronchoscopy is an effective and safe treatment modality for central airway obstruction. We suggest that interventional pulmonologists must consider using a rigid bronchoscope in treating patients with central airway diseases.

Key words: Rigid bronchoscopy, Central airway obstruction, Complication

Disclosure of funding source(s): none