Transbronchial lung biopsy using the fibreoptic bronchoscope was carried out in 85 patients. There were no serious complications; two patients had a 10% pneumothorax and 17 had slight haemoptysis lasting less than 24 hours. The problems of interpreting small biopsy specimens are considered. Satisfactory specimens were obtained without fluoroscopic guidance, particularly in diffuse and lobar lesions. A histological diagnosis was made in 62% of diffuse lesions and compatible histology was found in a further 22%. In a further case Pneumocytis carinii infection was diagnosed. Blind biopsy of discrete periheral lesions was less successful with only one positive diagnosis in 12 patients.
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