Table of Contents
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy
Volume 2009, Article ID 394817, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/394817
Clinical Study

Medical Thoracoscopy Performed Using a Flexible Bronchoscope Inserted through a Chest Tube under Local Anesthesia

Division of Respirology, Neurology and Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kurume University, 67 Asahi-machi, Kurume 830-0011, Japan

Received 27 November 2008; Revised 22 February 2009; Accepted 8 April 2009

Academic Editor: Haruhiro Inoue

Copyright © 2009 Toshinobu Yokoyama 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.

Abstract

Background and Objectives. Many cases of pleural effusion can remain undiagnosed following thoracentesis. We evaluated our own technique for performing thoracoscopy under local anesthesia using a 32 Fr chest tube and a flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope without a rigid thoracoscope for the diagnosis, inspection, and management of patients with pleurisy. Methods. Seven patients with pleural effusion who underwent thoracoscopy under local anesthesia using a 32 Fr chest tube and a flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope were retrospectively studied. Results. Thoracoscopy was safely performed in the diagnosis and management of pleural effusion in all cases. The visualization of the pleura, diaphragm, and lung using this instrumentation was excellent in comparison to that normally obtained during surgical thoracoscopy. A forceps biopsy of the pleura or diaphragm could therefore be easily and effectively performed. Conclusion. This technique is considered to have clinical utility as a diagnostic tool for pleurisy; furthermore, this method is safe, effective and inexpensive, not only for surgeons but also for physicians.