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Fever Risk After Bronchoscopy No Higher for Elderly

About 3.6 percent of patients aged 70 or older develop fever after fiberoptic bronchoscopy, 4.2 percent have pneumonia

THURSDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of fever and pneumonia after fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB) is no higher in patients 70 or older than in younger patients, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Kouji Kanemoto, M.D., of Tsukuba Medical Center Hospital in Japan, and colleagues assessed the incidence of fever and pneumonia after FOB in 358 patients, including 165 (46.1 percent) aged 70 or older.

The researchers found no significant difference in abnormal bronchoscopy results between older and younger patients. Although more older patients had lung cancer, there was no difference between older and younger patients as to who underwent forceps biopsies, brushing and curetting.

Meanwhile, 6.7 percent of all patients had fever after FOB and 5.6 percent had pneumonia; 3.6 percent of those 70 or older developed fever after FOB, and 4.2 percent had pneumonia, results similar to the younger group, the researchers report.

"Increasing age is not associated with increasing fever and pneumonia after FOB, and chronological age should not be considered a limiting factor in the decision of whether to perform FOB when it is clinically indicated," the authors conclude.

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