Long-term quality-adjusted survival following therapeutic bronchoscopy for malignant central airway obstruction

Philip Ong, Horiana B. Grosu, Labib Debiane, Roberto F. Casal, George A. Eapen, Carlos A. Jimenez, Laila Noor, David E. Ost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: While therapeutic bronchoscopy has been used to treat malignant central (CAO) airway obstruction for >25 years, there are no studies quantifying the impact of therapeutic bronchoscopy on long-term quality-adjusted survival. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study of consecutive patients undergoing therapeutic bronchoscopy for CAO. Patients had follow-up at 1 week and monthly thereafter until death. Outcomes included technical success (ie, relief of anatomic obstruction), dyspnoea, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and quality-adjusted survival. Results: Therapeutic bronchoscopy was performed on 102 patients with malignant CAO. Partial or complete technical success was achieved in 90% of patients. At 7 days postbronchoscopy, dyspnoea improved (mean ΔBorg-day-7=-1.8, 95% CI -2.2 to -1.3, p<0.0001) and HRQOL improved (median prebronchoscopy 0.618 utiles, 25%-75% IQR 0.569 to 0.699, mean Δutility-day-7+0.047 utiles, 95% CI +0.023 to 0.071, p=0.0002). Improvements in dyspnoea and HRQOL were maintained long-term. Compared with the prebronchoscopy baseline, HRQOL per day of life postbronchoscopy improved (mean â †utility-long-term+0.036 utiles, 95% CI +0.014 to 0.057, p=0.002). Median quality-adjusted survival was 109 quality-adjusted life-days (QALDs) (95% CI 74 to 201 QALDs). Factors associated with longer quality-adjusted survival included better functional status, treatment-naïve tumour, endobronchial disease, less dyspnoea, shorter time from diagnosis to bronchoscopy, absence of cardiac disease, bronchoscopic dilation and receiving chemotherapy. Conclusions: Therapeutic bronchoscopy improves HRQOL as compared with baseline, resulting in approximately a 5.8% improvement in HRQOL per day of life. The risk-benefit profile in these carefully selected patients was very favourable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-156
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • bronchoscopy
  • lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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