Role of Clinically Indicated Transbronchial Lung Biopsies in the Management of Pediatric Post-Lung Transplant Patients

Christina L. Greene, Brian Reemtsen, Anastasios Polimenakos, Monica Horn, Winfield Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Although transbronchial biopsy (TBB) is the definitive method for diagnosing graft dysfunction after pediatric lung transplantation, concern over procedural complications has limited its use. We reviewed our institutional experience with clinically indicated TBB to determine its safety and efficacy with emphasis on how biopsy findings altered management. Methods: A retrospective chart review was done of 61 pediatric lung transplantation patients undergoing 179 TBB procedures. Data were collected on pre-TBB symptoms, pulmonary function testing, and imaging studies. The prebiopsy diagnosis was noted and compared with the findings from TBB to see how frequently treatment changed after biopsy. Results: Age at TBB ranged from 2 months to 20 years, with an average of 3 biopsies per patient. There was no procedure-related mortality. The incidence of complications was 9% and included important bleeding with spontaneous resolution in 6% and pneumothorax in 3%. The usual indication for TBB was a change in the chest roentgenogram, frequently accompanied by a decrease in flows on spirometry. The TBB specimens were adequate for pathologic analysis 92% of the time, and a specific pathologic diagnosis could be made in 54% of cases. The findings from TBB altered the clinical management of the patient 64% of the time. Conclusions: In pediatric lung transplant recipients presenting with graft dysfunction, TBB is a low-risk diagnostic procedure that yields clinically useful information in a majority of cases. In our experience, the findings from TBB altered medical treatment in 64% of patients. Treatment was most often changed in the group diagnosed with rejection as the probable cause of graft dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-203
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of Clinically Indicated Transbronchial Lung Biopsies in the Management of Pediatric Post-Lung Transplant Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this