Background: Up to 50% of the participants in CT scan lung cancer screening trials have at least one pulmonary nodule. To date, the role of conventional bronchoscopy in the workup of suspicious screen-detected pulmonary nodules is unknown. If a bronchoscopic evaluation could be eliminated, the cost-effectiveness of a screening program could be enhanced and the potential harms of bronchoscopy avoided. Methods: All consecutive participants with a positive result on a CT scan lung cancer screening between April 2004 and December 2008 were enrolled. The diagnostic sensitivity and nega tive predictive value were calculated at the level of the suspicious nodules. In 95% of the nodules, the gold standard for the outcome of the bronchoscopy was based on surgical resection specimens. Results: A total of 318 suspicious lesions were evaluated by bronchoscopy in 308 participants. The mean ± SD diameter of the nodules was 14.6 ± 8.7 mm, whereas only 2.8% of nodules were >30 mm in diameter. The sensitivity of bronchoscopy was 13.5% (95% CI, 9.0%-19.6%); the specificity, 100%; the positive predictive value, 100%; and the negative predictive value, 47.6% (95% CI, 41.8%-53.5%). Of all cancers detected, 1% were detected by bronchoscopy only and were retrospectively invisible on both low-dose CT scan and CT scan with IV contrast. Conclusion: Conventional white-light bronchoscopy should not be routinely recommended for patients with positive test results in a lung cancer screening program. Trial registration: Nederlands Trial Register; No.: ISRCTN63545820; URL:,
Chest: the cardiopulmonary and critical care journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van 't Westeinde, S., Horeweg, N., Vernhout, R., Groen, H., Lammers, J.-W., Weenink, C., … van Klaveren, R. (2012). The role of conventional bronchoscopy in the workup of suspicious CT scan screen-detected pulmonary nodules. Chest: the cardiopulmonary and critical care journal, 142(2), 377–384. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2030