Nebulized versus Standard Local Application of Lidocaine during Flexible Bronchoscopy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Endobronchial administration of local anesthetics such as lidocaine is often used for cough suppression during bronchoscopy. To achieve a better distribution of lidocaine in the tracheobronchial tree, spray catheters have been developed, allowing nebulization of the local anesthetic solution. However, there are little data on the efficacy and safety of this approach, or on the consumption of sedative drugs and lidocaine during nebulized administration.


To investigate the tolerability of nebulized lidocaine compared to conventional lidocaine administration via syringe through the working channel of the bronchoscope in patients undergoing bronchoscopy. Consumption of sedative drugs and lidocaine was also compared between the two lidocaine administration approaches.


Patients requiring bronchoscopy with endobronchial or transbronchial biopsy were randomly assigned to receive topical lidocaine either via syringe or via nebulizer. Endpoints were consumption of lidocaine and sedative drugs, as well as patient tolerance and safety.


Thirty patients were included, 15 in each group. Patients in the nebulizer group required lower doses of endobronchial lidocaine (184.7 ± 67.98 vs. 250.7 ± 21.65 mg, p = 0.0045) and intravenous fentanyl (0.033 ± 0.041 vs. 0.067 ± 0.045 mg, p = 0.0236) than those in the syringe group; midazolam or propofol dosages did not differ between the two groups. In addition, there were no between-group differences in patient tolerance or safety (all p > 0.05).


Endobronchial administration of lidocaine during bronchoscopy via nebulizer was found to be well tolerated and safe and was associated with reduced lidocaine and fentanyl dosages compared to administration via syringe.

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