Efficacy of Bronchial Washing and Brushing Cytology in the Diagnosis of Non-Neoplastic Lung Diseases

  • Rahil Giti Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
  • Massood Hosseinzadeh Mail Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
Bronchial washing and brushing, Cytology


Flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy is often the initial technique for diagnosis of lung and bronchial tumors. Many studies have shown the high accuracy rate of bronchial washing and brushing cytology in the evaluation of neoplastic and non-neoplastic bronchopulmonary lesions. The aim of this study is to emphasize the value of the bronchial cytologic findings for diagnosis of non-neoplastic bronchopulmonary lesions. In a cross-sectional study, we retrieved all cases with bronchial washing and brushing cytology from 21 Mach 2014 to 21 December 2015. The slides of 100 patients with negative cytological reports were reviewed and concomitantly correlated with history, physical examination, clinical and pathologic documents. The cases with insufficient clinical and pathological diagnostic documents were rejected. The results classified in subgroups according to final diagnosis and cytological findings were discussed. We evaluated 100 cases that were previously had negative cytological reports.60 cases were male, and 40 cases were female with male to female ratio: 6/4. The age range was between 21 to 88 with the mean age of 57 years. Regarding lung cancer, 31% of cases were false negative. Causes of these falsely negative reports were been errors in screening, low cellularity, unsatisfactory smears and poor fixation. 23% were known cases of tuberculosis with some cytological findings including inflammation, necrotic calcified deposits, multinucleated giant cell and reserve cell hyperplasia. 19% were pneumonic patients with smears demonstrating inflammation, curschmann’s spiral and reserve cell hyperplasia. Other non-neoplastic cases included in this study were asthma, granulomatous inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, Wegener, SLE, heart failure, hydatid cyst, interstitial lung disease, and end stage renal disease. Cytological specimens from patients underwent bronchoscopic washing and brushing should be carefully examined. In situations with negative cytologic results, correlation with history, imaging and biopsy specimen is mandatory.


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How to Cite
Giti R, Hosseinzadeh M. Efficacy of Bronchial Washing and Brushing Cytology in the Diagnosis of Non-Neoplastic Lung Diseases. Acta Med Iran. 55(10):636-641.
Original Article(s)