Complications and discomfort of bronchoscopy: a systematic review
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Objective: To identify bronchoscopy-related complications and discomfort, meaningful complication rates, and predictors.
Method: We conducted a systematic literature search in PubMed on 8 February 2016, using a search strategy including the PICO model, on complications and discomfort related to bronchoscopy and related sampling techniques.
Results: The search yielded 1,707 hits, of which 45 publications were eligible for full review. Rates of mortality and severe complications were low. Other complications, for instance, hypoxaemia, bleeding, pneumothorax, and fever, were usually not related to patient characteristics or aspects of the procedure, and complication rates showed considerable ranges. Measures of patient discomfort differed considerably, and results were difficult to compare between different study populations.
Conclusion: More research on safety aspects of bronchoscopy is needed to conclude on complication rates and patient- and procedure-related predictors of complications and discomfort.