Bronchoscopy in patients with space-occupying brain lesions is anecdotally felt to carry a high risk of neurologic complications.METHODS:
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with evidence of a malignant, space-occupying brain lesion who were referred for flexible or rigid bronchoscopy or endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA). The primary outcome of interest was the incidence of neurologic complications following the procedures in these patients.RESULTS:
Of the 103 enrolled patients, flexible bronchoscopy was performed in 41, rigid bronchoscopy in 12, and EBUS-TBNA in 50. Among these patients, 41 (40%) had evidence suggestive of increased intracranial pressure on imaging. Among all study patients, none (95% CI, 0-0.035) had neurologic, procedure-specific, or sedation-specific complications, and the level of care was not escalated in any of these patients.CONCLUSIONS:
On the basis of our findings, we recommend that procedures such as flexible or rigid bronchoscopy or EBUS-TBNA in patients with malignant space-occupying brain lesions should be considered reasonably safe as long as neurologic findings are stable.