An Evaluation of Diagnostic Yield From Bronchoscopy: The Impact of Clinical/Radiographic Factors, Procedure Type, and Degree of Suspicion for Cancer

Gerard A. Silvestri, Benjamin T. Bevill, Jing Huang, Mary Brooks, Yoonha Choi, Giulia Kennedy, Lori Lofaro, Alex Chen, M. Patricia Rivera, Nichole T. Tanner, Anil Vachani, Lonny Yarmus, Nicholas J. Pastis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Bronchoscopy is commonly used to evaluate suspicious lung lesions. The yield is likely dependent on patient, radiographic, and bronchoscopic factors. Few studies have assessed these factors simultaneously while also including the preprocedure physician-assessed probability of cancer (pCA) when assessing yield. Methods: This study is a secondary data analysis from a prospective multicenter trial. Diagnostic yield of standard bronchoscopy with biopsy ± fluoroscopy, endobronchial ultrasound with transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA), electromagnetic navigation, and combination bronchoscopies was assessed. Definitions for diagnostic and nondiagnostic bronchoscopies were rigorously predefined. The association of diagnostic yield with individual variables was examined by using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses where appropriate. Results: A total of 687 patients were included from 28 sites. Overall diagnostic yield was 69%; 80% for EBUS, 55% for bronchoscopy with biopsy ± fluoroscopy, 57% for electromagnetic navigation, and 74% for combination procedures (P <.001). Patients with larger, central lesions with adenopathy were significantly more likely to undergo a diagnostic bronchoscopy. Patients with pCA < 10% and 10% to 60% had lower yields (44% and 42%, respectively), whereas pCA > 60% yielded a positive result in 77% (P <.001). In multivariate logistic regression, the use of EBUS-TBNA, larger sized lesions, and central location were significantly associated with a diagnostic bronchoscopy. Seventeen percent of those with a malignant diagnosis and 28% of those with a benign diagnosis required secondary procedures to establish a diagnosis. Conclusions: This study is the first to assess the yield of bronchoscopy according to physician-assessed pCA in a large, prospective multicenter trial. The yield of bronchoscopy varied greatly according to physician suspicion that cancer is present, the patients’ clinical/radiographic features, and the type of procedure performed. Of the procedures performed, EBUS-TBNA was the most likely to provide a diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1656-1664
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • bronchoscopy
  • diagnostic yield
  • lung cancer


Dive into the research topics of 'An Evaluation of Diagnostic Yield From Bronchoscopy: The Impact of Clinical/Radiographic Factors, Procedure Type, and Degree of Suspicion for Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this