Transbronchial lung cryobiopsy for interstitial lung disease diagnosis: A perspective from members of the pulmonary pathology society
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Transbronchial lung cryobiopsy involves using a cryoprobe rather than forceps to obtain a bronchoscopic biopsy. Recent studies have shown that transbronchial cryobiopsy provides a larger specimen than conventional transbronchial forceps biopsy, and that the interobserver agreement in the interpretation of cryobiopsy specimens is comparable to that of a surgical lung biopsy. This is encouraging, and transbronchial lung cryobiopsy clearly has a role in the workup and diagnosis of interstitial lung diseases. However, very few patients who have been studied underwent both transbronchial lung cryobiopsy and surgical lung biopsy, and the available data suggest that the diagnostic accuracy of cryobiopsy may not be similar to that of surgical lung biopsy. Further study is needed before transbronchial lung biopsy can be recommended as a replacement for surgical lung biopsy.