Cryotechnology in Diagnosing and Treating Lung Diseases

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Abstract

Cryotechnology has been used in treating lung cancer for many years, now it is emerging to have a new indication in diagnosing lung diseases. Cryoprobe transbronchial lung biopsy has been introduced into clinical practice as a new technique, providing a larger biopsy specimen, potentially improving the diagnostic yield of transbronchial biopsies in parenchymal lung diseases. Although recent small pilot studies suggest that cryotransbronchial lung biopsies are comparable to conventional transbronchial biopsies in terms of diagnostic yield and safety profile in lung transplant patients, cryoprobe transbronchial lung biopsy is still being evaluated and its role in clinical practice is not well defined. Cryotherapy has been proven as a safe and effective method to debulk endobronchial lesions, providing palliation for advanced central obstructive tumors. Its use and efficacy is also studied in direct cryosurgery and percutaneous application in lung cancer. Cryoprobes can also be used to extract foreign bodies from the airways by causing cryoadhesion. We aim to summarize the therapeutic and diagnostic application of cryotechnology in pulmonary diseases.

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