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[Usefulness of bronchofiberscopy for the diagnosis of pulmonary non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis--an analysis mainly on pulmonary M. avium complex disease].

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of bronchofiberscopy (BFS) in the diagnosis of pulmonary non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis (PNTM).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Among 909 PNTM patients admitted to our hospital during the period from 1995 to 2006, BFS was performed for the diagnosis of PNTM in 107 patients (12%) who had either a negative sputum-smear for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) (n = 100) or from whom it had been impossible to collect sputum (n =7). For these 107 cases, we retrospectively compared and analyzed the findings from specimens obtained by BFS, such as smears, cultures, polymerase-chain reaction (PCR), and transbronchial lung biopsy (TBLB), with clinical, radiological, and sputum examination disease, was also seen in the positive ratios of other nontuberculous mycobacteriosis cases. Type and/or spread of MAC disease on chest radiographs did not relate to positive ratios of BFS obtained specimens. Based on overall BFS findings, including the examination of sputum immediately after BFS, 68 of 92 (74%) patients met the diagnostic criteria of MAC disease. Furthermore, through a combination of positive-TBLB findings and positive-PCR findings of BFS specimens, we were able to obtain an early and strong indication of MAC disease in 17 of 36 (47%) patients.

CONCLUSION: Using BFS to obtain various kinds of specimens is a useful tool for the early and definite diagnosis of PNTM/pulmonary MAC disease.

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