Diagnostic Yield and Bleeding Complications Associated with Bronchoscopic Biopsy of Endobronchial Carcinoid Tumors

Yang Gao, Teng Moua, David E. Midthun, John J. Mullon, Paul A. Decker, Jay H. Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Bronchial carcinoid often appears hypervascular on bronchoscopic visualization and may be associated with hemoptysis. The diagnostic yield and bleeding complications associated with bronchoscopic biopsy of bronchial carcinoid tumors remain unclear.Materials and Methods:Patients with bronchial carcinoid tumors that were bronchoscopically visualized and biopsied at our tertiary referral medical center, over an 8-year period from 2010 to 2017, were retrospectively identified and reviewed to assess diagnostic yield and bleeding complications. Correlations with patient characteristics and carcinoid tumor features were analyzed.Results:Forty-nine patients were included (57% female). Tumors were predominantly (71%) located in proximal airways (mainstem and lobar bronchi). Bronchoscopic biopsy was diagnostic in 45 patients (92%). Thirteen patients (27%) experienced moderate (n=12, 25%) or severe (n=1, 2%) bleeding. Among these, 6 tumors (46%) had a vascular appearance and 4 patients (31%) had experienced recent hemoptysis. However, neither vascularity nor hemoptysis was associated with bleeding at biopsy (P=0.68 and 0.73, respectively). Carcinoid tumors were classified as typical in 79% and atypical in 21% with no difference in diagnostic yield or bleeding risk (P=0.28 and 0.92, respectively). Tumor size was also not associated with increased diagnostic yield or bleeding risk (P=0.54 and 0.39, respectively).Conclusion:Bronchoscopic biopsy of endobronchial carcinoid is associated with a high diagnostic yield and severe bleeding is rarely encountered. Diagnostic yield and bleeding seemed independent of vascular tumor appearance or history of recent hemoptysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-189
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • bleeding complication
  • bronchial carcinoid
  • bronchoscopic biopsy
  • diagnostic yield

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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