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A view of cancerous growths in the airway of the left lung, as seen through a bronchoscope.

Bronchoscopy is a medical procedure which is used to look at the inside of a person's airway's. It can be used to see the inside of the trachea, and the bronchi and bronchioles within the lungs. There are three types of bronchoscopy: rigid, flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy and CT virtual bronchoscopy (CTVB).

Rigid bronchoscopy[change | change source]

Rigid bronchoscopy is a straight rigid tube used to see into the trachea and proximal bronchi. It is usually done in an operating room under general anesthesia. It is usually used when there is a blockage in either the trachea or the primary bronchi. The diameter of the tube is large enough to insert instruments to remove obstructions.[1]

Flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy[change | change source]

During the procedure, a thin, flexible fiberoptic tube called a bronchoscope. is passed through the nose or mouth nose into the airways. The bronchoscope has a light and a camera which lets the doctor see into the airway.[2]

A doctor using a flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope to explore the airways.

CT virtual bronchoscopy[change | change source]

This technique uses data from multiple CT scans to create a three dimensional (3D) image. This allows doctors to see what is going on without having to operate.[3]

Video of a flexible bronchoscopic examination of airways in the right lung.
The use of a rigid bronchoscope.
Virtual bronchoscopy at the level of the larynx.

References[change | change source]

  1. David P. Naidich: Imaging Of The Airways: Functional And Radiologic Correlations. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1 edition (2005) p.30 ISBN 0781757681
  2. Pallav Shah: Atlas of Flexible Bronchoscopy. CRC Press; 1 edition (2011) pp. I-II ISBN 034096832X
  3. Haliloglu, Mithat; et al. (2003). "CT virtual bronchoscopy in the evaluation of children with suspected foreign body aspiration". European Journal of Radiology. Retrieved 28 March 2013.