A total of 443 patients with lung cancer underwent brush and forceps biopsy through a fibreoptic bronchoscope. The biopsy was taken from the area of suspected malignancy which had been brushed. Of 443 patients, 400 (90.3%) showed positive results on brushing and 287 (64.8%) on biopsy. A combination of both techniques yielded the highest percentage of positive diagnosis (93.7%). Histologically, there was a high incidence of positive diagnosis for squamous and small cell carcinoma. One hundred and three (83.7%) of 123 specimens obtained by brushing and 75 (81.5%) of 92 specimens obtained by biopsy agreed with the cell type found in the surgical or necropsy specimen. Cell typing accuracy was higher in squamous and in small cell carcinoma in both techniques. As the cell typing accuracy of the two methods is similar, the results obtained by both techniques should be taken into consideration in the management of individual cases of lung cancer.
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