Mycoses. 2021 Mar 14. doi: 10.1111/myc.13263. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: There are sparse data on the role of flexible bronchoscopy (FB) in diagnosing invasive mould infections (IMIs).
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the safety and usefulness of FB in IMI. We evaluate the factors associated with a successful diagnosis of IMI using FB. Further, we compare subjects of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) with pulmonary mucormycosis (PM).
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical features, imaging data, bronchoscopy, microbiology and pathology details of subjects who underwent FB for suspected IMI. We categorised FB as diagnostic if it contributed to the diagnosis of IMI. We performed a multivariate analysis to identify the factors associated with a diagnostic bronchoscopy.
RESULTS: Of the 3521 FB performed over 18 months, 132 (3.7%) were done for suspected IMIs. We included 107 subjects for the final analysis. The risk factors for IMI included renal transplantation (29.0%), diabetes (27.1%), haematological malignancy (10.3%) and others. We found bronchoscopic abnormalities in 33 (30.8%) subjects, and these were more frequent in those with confirmed PM (67%) than IPA (27%). IMI was confirmed in 79 (14 proven, 48 probable and 17 possible) subjects. FB was diagnostic in 71%. We experienced major complications in three cases (2.7%), including one death. On multivariate analysis, the visualisation of endobronchial abnormalities during FB (OR [95%, CI], 8.5 [1.4-50.4]) was the only factor associated with a diagnostic FB after adjusting for age and various risk factors.
CONCLUSIONS: Flexible bronchoscopy is a useful and safe procedure in diagnosing IMIs. The presence of endobronchial abnormalities predicts a successful diagnostic yield on FB.