Table of Contents
ISRN Endoscopy
Volume 2013, Article ID 217505, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Indications and Efficacy of Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy in the ICU: Have They Changed Since Its Introduction in Clinical Practice?

1Servicio de Neumología y Cirugía de Tórax, Hospital General de México O.D. “Dr. Eduardo Liceaga”, HGM, Balmis 148, 06726 México, DF, Mexico
2Facultad de Medicina, UNAM, México, DF, Mexico

Received 18 January 2013; Accepted 12 February 2013

Academic Editors: S. Dissanaike, S. M. Selvaggi, and U. F. Wellner

Copyright © 2013 Pablo Álvarez-Maldonado 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.


Purpose. We describe characteristics, utility, and safety of fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB) in an intensive care unit (ICU). Methods. Prospective and descriptive cohort of patients admitted to a respiratory ICU from March 2010 to June 2012. Results. A total of 102 FOBs were performed in 84 patients among 580 patients that were admitted to the ICU. Mean age was years. FOB was useful in 65% of diagnostic procedures and 83% of therapeutic procedures, with an overall utility of 75%. Indications and utility according to indication were pneumonia in 31 cases, utility of 52%; percutaneous tracheostomy guidance in 26 cases, utility of 100%; atelectasis in 25 cases, utility of 76%; airway exploration in 16 cases, utility of 75%; hemoptysis in two cases, utility of 100%; and difficult airway intubation in two cases, utility of 100%. A decrease in oxygen saturation (SpO2) of >5% during FOB was present in 65% of cases, and other minor complications were present in 3.9% of cases. Conclusions. Reasons for performing FOB in the ICU have remained relatively stable over time with the exception of the addition of percutaneous tracheostomy guidance. Our series documents current indications and also the utility and safety of this procedure.