Prospective Study of Fever and Pneumonia After Flexible Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy in Older People

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To assess the frequency of fever and pneumonia after fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB) in older people and to evaluate increased risk for these two adverse events with increasing age.

DESIGN

Prospective study.

SETTING

University hospital system.

PARTICIPANTS

Three hundred fifty-eight patients, with 165 (46.1%) patients aged 70 and older, undergoing bronchoscopy.

MEASUREMENTS

Indications, abnormal bronchoscopic findings, sampling procedures, final diagnosis, and fever and pneumonia after bronchoscopy.

RESULTS

With regard to the indication for bronchoscopy and abnormal bronchoscopic findings, there was no statistical difference between elderly patients (≥70) and younger patients (<70). Procedures such as forceps biopsy, brushing, and curetting were not performed more often in elderly patients, although final diagnosis of lung cancer was significantly more common in the elderly group (P=.002). The overall incidence of fever after FOB was 6.7%, and that of pneumonia after FOB was 5.6%. The patients aged 70 and older had an incidence of fever after FOB of 3.6% and an incidence of pneumonia of 4.2%, which were not higher than those in patients younger than 70.

CONCLUSION

Increasing age is not associated with increasing fever and pneumonia after FOB, and chronological age should not be considered a limiting factor in the decision of whether to perform FOB when it is clinically indicated.

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