Malignant central airway obstruction (MCAO) occurs in 20-30% of patients with primary pulmonary malignancy. Although bronchoscopic intervention is widely performed to treat MCAO, little data exist on the prognosis of interventional bronchoscopy. Therefore, we evaluated the clinical outcomes and prognostic factors of bronchoscopic interventions in patients with MCAO due to primary pulmonary malignancy.
This retrospective study was conducted at a university hospital and included 224 patients who received interventional bronchoscopy from 2004 to 2017, excluding patients with salivary gland-type tumor. A multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was used to identify independent prognostic factors associated with survival after the first bronchoscopic intervention.
Among 224 patients, 191 (85.3%) were males, and the median age was 63 years. The most common histological type of malignancy was squamous cell carcinoma (71.0%). Technical success was achieved in 93.7% of patients. Acute complications and procedure-related death occurred in 15.6 and 1.3% of patients, respectively. The median survival time was 7.0 months, and survival rates at one year and two years were 39.7 and 28.3%, respectively. Poor survival was associated with underlying chronic pulmonary disease, poor performance status, extended lesion, extrinsic or mixed lesion, and MCAO due to disease progression and not receiving adjuvant treatment after bronchoscopic intervention.
Interventional bronchoscopy could be a safe and effective procedure for patients who have MCAO due to primary pulmonary malignancy. In addition, we found several prognostic factors for poor survival after intervention, which will help clinicians determine the best candidates for bronchoscopic intervention.