Safety and Efficacy of Radial EBUS for the Investigation of Peripheral Pulmonary Lesions in Patients With Advanced COPD

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Peripheral pulmonary lesion (PPL) is a common scenario in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and represents a high risk of malignancy. Severe COPD is associated with higher complication rates following percutaneous biopsy, and routine bronchoscopy. Safety and diagnostic performance of radial endobronchial ultrasound bronchoscopy (R-EBUS) in patients with advanced COPD has not been previously assessed.


We examined a retrospective cohort of patients with advanced COPD undergoing R-EBUS for the evaluation of PPL.


During the study period, 92 patients underwent 94 R-EBUS procedures. In 50 cases, patients had severe obstructive deficit with mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) of 1.01±0.28 L, and FEV1% predicted 39.7±8.2. In 44 cases, patients had mild-moderate obstruction with severe diffusion impairment, with mean diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide% predicted of 41.2±7.9. Pneumothorax requiring intercostal catheter insertion occurred in 2 patients (2.1%). In 10 cases (10.6%; 95% confidence interval, 4.4%-16.8%) patients experienced acute respiratory failure. Diagnostic yield was 63% (59/94) and overall sensitivity for primary lung malignancy was 70% (53/76). Nine patients had a diagnosis on R-EBUS obviating lung resection.


R-EBUS is safe and accurate for the investigation of PPL in patients with advanced COPD.

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