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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 872327, 5 pages
Research Article

Bronchoscopy in Rural Areas?

1Department of Medicine, Helgelandssykehuset Mosjøen, 8661 Mosjøen, Norway
2Department of Anesthesiology, Nordlandssykehuset Bodø, 8092 Bodø, Norway
3University of Nordland, Faculty of Professional Studies, 8049 Bodø, Norway
4University of Tromsø, Institute of Clinical Medicine, 9037 Tromsø, Norway

Received 31 July 2011; Accepted 6 November 2011

Academic Editor: Hisako Matsumoto

Copyright © 2012 Reidar Berntsen and Erik Waage Nielsen. 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.


Quality of bronchoscopy performed by one single pulmonologist in a scarcely populated subarctic area was compared to the guidelines provided by the British Thoracic Society (BTS). 103 patients underwent bronchoscopy. Diagnostic yield was increased to 76.6% when the first bronchoscopy was supplemented by bronchial washing fluid and brush cytology and to 86.7% (BTS guidelines >80%) after a second bronchoscopy. Median time from referral to bronchoscopy was 10 days and 8 days from positive bronchoscopy to operative referral to another hospital. 1% of patients that underwent transbronchial lung biopsy had minor complications. One pulmonologist had rate of correct diagnosis based on visible endobronchial tumors that was comparable to the rates of numerous pulmonologists at larger centers performing the same procedure. Time delay was short. Rate of complications was comparable. Bronchoscopy performed by one pulmonologist alone could, in organized settings, be carried out at local hospitals in areas of scattered settlement.