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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 730574, 6 pages
Research Article

Cryobiopsy: Should This Be Used in Place of Endobronchial Forceps Biopsies?

Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Environmental and Sleep Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine—Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, VA 24014, USA

Received 26 April 2013; Revised 15 June 2013; Accepted 15 July 2013

Academic Editor: Demosthenes Bouros

Copyright © 2013 Edmundo R. Rubio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Forceps biopsies of airway lesions have variable yields. The yield increases when combining techniques in order to collect more material. With the use of cryotherapy probes (cryobiopsy) larger specimens can be obtained, resulting in an increase in the diagnostic yield. However, the utility and safety of cryobiopsy with all types of lesions, including flat mucosal lesions, is not established. Aims. Demonstrate the utility/safety of cryobiopsy versus forceps biopsy to sample exophytic and flat airway lesions. Settings and Design. Teaching hospital-based retrospective analysis. Methods. Retrospective analysis of patients undergoing cryobiopsies (singly or combined with forceps biopsies) from August 2008 through August 2010. Statistical Analysis. Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results. The comparative analysis of 22 patients with cryobiopsy and forceps biopsy of the same lesion showed the mean volumes of material obtained with cryobiopsy were significantly larger (0.696 cm3 versus 0.0373 cm3, ). Of 31 cryobiopsies performed, one had minor bleeding. Cryopbiopsy allowed sampling of exophytic and flat lesions that were located centrally or distally. Cryobiopsies were shown to be safe, free of artifact, and provided a diagnostic yield of 96.77%. Conclusions. Cryobiopsy allows safe sampling of exophytic and flat airway lesions, with larger specimens, excellent tissue preservation and high diagnostic accuracy.