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Revista médica de Chile

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SANCHEZ D, Ignacio et al. A ten years experience in flexible bronchoscopy in pediatric patients. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2003, vol.131, n.11, pp.1266-1272. ISSN 0034-9887.

Approximately a decade ago, pediatric Flexible Bronchoscopy (FB) was introduced in Chile, after being used for several years in adults. Aim: To describe our clinical experience in FB in a ten years period. Patients and Methods: Records of procedures done between January 1993 and September 2002 at the Pediatric Service of the Catholic University Hospital, were retrospectively reviewed. We evaluated the clinical indications for the procedures in relation to patient's age and the correlation between indications and FB findings. Results: A total of 700 procedures were performed during the period, 59% in men and 53% in patients younger than 1 year. Seventy seven percent of procedures were done in an examination room, using a nasal approach. The main indication was visualization of the airway (49%). The most common clinical diagnosis, in descending order were: atelectasis, stridor and etiologic study of pneumonia by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). In children younger than 6 months the most common clinical diagnosis was stridor, followed by atelectasis. The main diagnosis in the whole sample, reached by FB was atelectasis secondary to mucous plug. In children younger than 6 months, the main diagnosis was laryngomalacia. A positive microbial culture was obtained in 43% of patients in whom BAL was done. Complications were uncommon (5%) and mostly mild. In 2.3% of cases, these were severe, such as bronchospasm and need for mechanical ventilation. Severe complications were observed in patients younger than 3 months with severe stridor or in children with cancer, who required FB and BAL. Conclusions: Flexible bronchoscopy is a safe and useful procedure in pediatric patients (Rev Méd Chile 2003; 131: 1266-72)

Keywords : Atelectasis; Bronchoalveolar lavage; Bronchoscopy; Pneumonia.

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