When and why

A bronchoscopy can be part of the investigation into the cause of a cough, breathlessness, or an abnormal chest X-ray.

A bronchoscope is a flexible tube containing optical fibres that make it possible to visualise the  bronchial tree (breathing tubes) and lungs and perform a biopsy.

Prior to the procedure, the patient is given a light sedative and an injection to dry up the bronchial secretions. Using a local anaesthetic, the bronchoscope is passed up through a nostril, down the back of the nose and throat, past the vocal chords, and into the lungs. Fluid is washed through a section of the lungs (lavage) to obtain samples to assist in diagnosing infections such as PCP and TB.

There is usually some drowsiness for three to four hours after the procedure and no food or drink is allowed for a time, as the throat and vocal cords have been numbed by local anaesthetic.

How it will help

Lung infections such as Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), tuberculosis, or other bacteria can be more readily diagnosed and the correct treatment given. Kaposi's sarcoma in the lungs, which can also be a cause of cough or breathlessness, can also be seen with this procedure.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.