Transbronchial lung cryobiopsy in the diagnosis of interstitial lung disease: A retrospective single-center experience

Roy Cho, Felix Zamora, Heidi Gibson, H. Erhan Dincer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Surgical lung biopsy (SLB) is the gold standard to aid diagnosis of interstitial lung disease (ILD). Complication rates are restrictive as routine approach for all patients with ILD. Transbronchial lung cryobiopsy (TBLC) is presumed to be a safe, less invasive alternative to assist multidisciplinary discussions regarding the diagnosis of ILD. Varying practice patterns and lack of consistent guidelines prohibit wide support of this technique. The purpose of this study was to evaluate safety and diagnostic yield of TBLC, with highlight of distinct technical features, in ILD. Methods: Retrospective study of patients with ILD on the basis of high-resolution chest computed tomography who underwent TBLC. Results: Of 121 TBLC, 40 patients (mean age, 57.2± 13 y; 28 men) with ILD were referred for biopsy. Procedures were performed in endoscopy suite (60%) or operating room by using 1.9-mm cryoprobe. Biopsies were performed in 2 lobes with at least 3 to 5 specimens >5 mm in diameter. The average diameter and area of specimens were 5.7±2mm and 40±2mm2, respectively. The most common diagnosis was nonspecific interstitial pneumonitis; usual interstitial pneumonia was diagnosed in 1 patient. Of 6 nondiagnostic specimens, 2 underwent SLB with subsequent diagnoses. Final histopathologic diagnostic rate was 85%. Bleeding was the most frequent complication. Conclusion: We provided a detailed description of our TLBC technique and highlighted areas of similarity and differences among comparative studies and attest that TBLC is a safe alternative to SLB in the diagnosis of ILD. Our data also indicated the tendency for moderate-to-severe bleeding occurred more in the endoscopy suite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • complications
  • diagnosis
  • interstitial lung disease
  • transbronchial lung cryobiopsy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Journal Article

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