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Arlaud K.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Gorincour G.,University Timone Hospital | Bouvenot J.,University Timone Hospital | Dutau H.,University Sainte Marguerite Hospital | Dubus J.-C.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Archives of Disease in Childhood | Year: 2010

Background: Systematic flexible bronchoscopy is advocated in the initial management of childhood pulmonary tuberculosis. Methods: Our aim was to describe and to compare the systematic flexible bronchoscopy findings of 53 children (6.5±4.4 years; 52.8% boys) with active pulmonary tuberculosis to their initial clinical and radiological (chest x-ray, n=53; CT, n=45) features in an 11-year retrospective study. Results: Flexible bronchoscopy was normal in 51% of cases. A severe tracheobronchial involvement (extrinsic compression >50% or obstructive endoluminal mass >25% of the lumen) was found in 10 patients. Flexible bronchoscopy guided therapy in 13 cases (steroids n=12, bronchoscopic extraction of a granuloma n=1) and permitted isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in three patients (5.7%). No useful information was obtained by flexible bronchoscopy in 73.5% of cases. No correlation was found between flexible bronchoscopy findings and clinical features or x-ray findings. Conversely, a strong correlation was found between severe bronchoscopic involvement and tracheobronchial luminal narrowing on CT. The CT negative predictive value was 100% (95% CI 91% to 100%). Based on CT results, flexible bronchoscopy could have been avoided in about 60% of our patients. Conclusions: Flexible bronchoscopy remains a very relevant tool in the diagnostic and therapeutic management of childhood pulmonary tuberculosis but resulted in treatment modification or microbiological proof in a minority of our patients. We propose that flexible bronchoscopy in children with pulmonary tuberculosis be limited to those who show tracheobronchial luminal narrowing on an initial CT scan.

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