Endobronchial Metastasis from Extrapulmonary Neoplasms: Analysis of Clinicopathologic Features and Cytological Evaluation by Bronchial Brushing

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Bronchial brushings (BB) commonly aid in the diagnosis of primary lung cancer. However, the utility of this method in diagnosing endobronchial metastases (EBM) from extrapulmonic malignancies has not been thoroughly evaluated. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the sensitivity of BB in diagnosing EBM. Methods: An institutional database was queried for all patients with cytologically or histologically confirmed extrapulmonary EBM identified by endobronchial biopsy between 1978 and 2013. Data were collected on patient demographics, histologic and cytologic diagnoses, time from primary malignancy to identification of EBM, and location of EBM. The sensitivity of BB for the diagnosis of EBM and the clinicopathologic features of extrapulmonary EBM were assessed. Results: Fifty-six patients (33 females, 23 males; mean age 53 years) were identified with EBM. Diagnoses included lymphoma (21), breast adenocarcinoma (11), colonic adenocarcinoma (7), melanoma (6), renal cell carcinoma (RCC, 5), embryonal carcinoma (2), and 1 case each of tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma, thymic carcinoma, leiomyosarcoma, and sarcoma, not otherwise specified. The sensitivity of BB for identifying EBM was 85% overall and 94% for non-hematologic malignancies. The mean interval between primary diagnosis and EBM was 59 months (range 0–264 months). Excluding ten patients who had EBM at their initial presentation, lymphoma had the shortest (10 months) and RCC had the longest (264 months) mean interval between primary diagnosis and EBM. The mean time between EBM identification and death was 22.4 months (n = 24). Conclusion: Bronchial brushing is a sensitive technique for diagnosing non-hematologic extrapulmonic endobronchial metastases.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ikemura K; Lin DM; Martyn CP; Park JW; Seder CW; Gattuso P
  • Start Page

  • 595
  • End Page

  • 599
  • Volume

  • 195
  • Issue

  • 5