High-Definition Videobronchoscopy for the Diagnosis of Airway Involvement in Sarcoidosis

Vanina Livi, Marco Ferrari, Alessandra Cancellieri, Rocco Trisolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: The ability of high-definition (HD) videobronchoscopy to detect airway involvement in sarcoidosis has not been evaluated previously.RESEARCH QUESTION: What is the role of HD videobronchoscopy in the identification of sarcoidosis-associated airway abnormalities (AAs)? What are the patterns of AAs more commonly observed and more frequently associated with the detection of granulomas in endobronchial biopsy (EBB)?STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: In this prospective international multicenter cohort study, consecutive patients with suspected sarcoidosis underwent airway inspection with an HD videobronchoscope and EBB using a standardized workflow. AAs were classified according to six patterns defined a priori: nodularity, cobblestoning, thickening, plaque, increased vascularity, and miscellaneous. We assessed diagnostic yield of EBB, prevalence of AAs, and interobserver agreement for different patterns of AAs. RESULTS: AAs were identified in 64 of 134 patients with sarcoidosis (47.8%), with nodularity (n = 23 [17.2%]), plaque (n = 19 [14.2%]), and increased vascularity (n = 19 [14.2%]) being the most prevalent. The diagnostic yield of EBB was 36.6%. AAs were significantly more prevalent in patients with than in those without nonnecrotizing granulomas on EBB (67.4% vs 36.5%; P = .001). Likewise, parenchymal disease on CT scan imaging was signifi- cantly more common in patients with than in those without nonnecrotizing granulomas on EBB (79.6% vs 54.1%; P = .003). On a per-lesion analysis, nonnecrotizing granulomas were seen especially in EBB samples obtained from areas of cobblestoning (9/10 [90%]) and nod-ularity (17/29 [58.6%]). The overall diagnostic yield of random EBB was low (31/134 [23.1%]). The interobserver agreement for the different patterns of AA was fair (Fleiss k = 0.34).INTERPRETATION: In a population with a large prevalence of White Europeans, HD video-bronchoscopy detected AAs in approximately one-half of patients with sarcoidosis. The diagnostic yield of EBB was higher in patients with parenchymal involvement on CT scan imaging and in those with AAs, especially if manifesting as cobblestoning and nodularity.TRIAL REGISTRY: ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT4743596; URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1252
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • CT scan
  • endobronchial biopsy
  • sarcoidosis
  • granuloma
  • high-definition videobronchoscopy
  • endobronchial ultrasound


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