Predictors of Successful Yield of Transbronchial Lung Biopsy in Patients With Sarcoidosis

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Transbronchial lung biopsy (TBLB) is an important bronchoscopic procedure used in the diagnosis of sarcoidosis. Only a few studies have evaluated determinants associated with successful diagnostic yield of TBLB. Herein, we evaluate the factors predicting successful yield of TBLB in subjects with sarcoidosis.


Consecutive subjects with a clinical suspicion of sarcoidosis who underwent TBLB were enrolled. We evaluated the association between symptoms, spirometric lung function, radiologic stage of sarcoidosis, number of specimens, presence of floating biopsies, number of alveoli, and successful diagnostic yield (presence of granuloma) on TBLB.


Of the 223 subjects, sarcoidosis was diagnosed in 209 [mean (SD) age, 43.9 (12.6) y; 50.7% men] individuals. A total of 1021 TBLB specimens were obtained. Granulomas were demonstrated in 123 (58.9%) subjects on TBLB. On a multivariate analysis, there was no association between successful diagnostic yield and the presence of dyspnea, spirometric lung function, radiologic stage of sarcoidosis, presence of floating biopsies, presence of at least 50 alveoli, or crush artifacts during histopathologic examination. Complications were encountered in 25 (11.9%) subjects. There were no deaths.


TBLB is a reasonably safe procedure with a good diagnostic yield. The present study did not identify any predictors associated with successful diagnostic yield of TBLB in sarcoidosis.

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