Neonatal bronchoscopy: a retrospective analysis of 67 cases and a review of their indications.

J A Oliveira-Santos, L Pereira-da-Silva, A Clington, M Serelha

Abstract


The availability of newer, more sophisticated and versatile bronchoscopes has expanded the spectrum and scope of the indications for bronchoscopy in the newborn infant both for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The aim of this study was to carry out a retrospective analysis of the bronchoscopies performed on newborn infants, and to review the indications of this procedure in this age group. Sixty-three patients were submitted to 67 bronchoscopies in a period of 13 years, allowing the diagnosis of 45 anomalies and malformations of the tracheo-bronchial tree, and the performance of 24 bronchoalveolar lavages. In six cases, endoscopic removal of secretions helped to resolve resistant atelectasia, while in another case, with esophageal atresia, intra-operative definition of the fistula tract was possible through catheterisation of the fistula with the bronchoscope. The flexible bronchoscope was preferred for diagnosis by direct visualisation, and the rigid bronchoscope for some diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Stridor, unexplained cyanosis, hemoptysis, persistent or recurrent pulmonary images, difficulties in the intubation or extubation, and persistent disturbances in ventilation are among the main indications for bronchoscopy in the newborn infant. Bronchoscopy also allows the performance of subsidiary techniques, such as bronchoalveolar lavage, biopsy and laser therapy.

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