DOI: 10.25259/jpats_12_2023 ISSN:

A survey of flexible bronchoscopy practice at Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya

Abdiweli M. Bashir, Jared O. Mecha, Loice Achieng, Andrew Owuor
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Flexible bronchoscopy (FB) is an essential diagnostic and therapeutic tool for managing respiratory diseases, and an audit of its practice is important; it enhances standardization of practice and improves outcomes and patient safety. This study aimed to describe the FB practice at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) regarding indications, peri-procedure practice, gross and histologic findings, and safety.

Materials and Methods:

This study was a quantitative and retrospective chart review of files of 282 patients who underwent flexible bronchoscopies over 5 years in KNH.


We reviewed 282 flexible bronchoscopies done between January 2016 and December 2020. There was a significant documentation gap (22%); 54 out of the 282 cases audited had incomplete documentation. The male-to-female ratio was 1:1, with a median age of 51 years. Most (58.2%) of the patients were residents of counties outside Nairobi. Despite a lack of evidence for routine evaluation, we noted significant rates (75.9%) of routine laboratory evaluations (International normalized ratio (INR), platelet count). The most common indication of bronchoscopy was the evaluation of a lung mass (100) 35.7%, pulmonary infiltrate 53 (18.9%), and assessment for interstitial lung disease 39 (13.9%). The most common gross bronchoscopic findings were visible tumors at 38.5% (107) and normal endoscopic findings at 29.5% (82). The practice was safe, with a complication rate of 3.2%. The most common diagnostic outcome was lung cancer (40.1%), with adenocarcinoma being the most common (45.1%) histologic subtype. The diagnostic yield for malignancy where there was a visible tumor was 87.2%.


Our study showed that FB practice at KNH is safe and provides a good diagnostic yield, but a significant documentation gap and record keeping exist. Adenocarcinoma was the most predominant lung cancer histologic subtype among the mostly non-smoker population.

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