Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Fibreoptic bronchoscopy: ten years on.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 02 August 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:360
  1. D M Mitchell,
  2. C J Emerson,
  3. J Collyer,
  4. J V Collins


    Fibreoptic bronchoscopy was introduced more than 10 years ago and is now in many centres a routine diagnostic procedure, having superseded rigid bronchoscopy. Its major role is in the diagnosis of bronchial carcinoma, where the results are as good as, if not better than, results with the rigid instrument. Other major applications have been found in investigating haemoptysis, transbronchial lung biopsy in interstitial lung disease, and in the critically ill patient in the intensive care unit. More recently, the instrument has been used to perform bronchoalveolar lavage in investigating interstitial lung diseases and to enable lobar and segmental lung function studies to be performed. Fibreoptic bronchoscopy is a major advance in the diagnosis of pulmonary diseases, but there will always be times when rigid bronchoscopy is preferable.