Incidence of bacteremia following bronchoscopy with argon plasma coagulation: A prospective study

Alona Matveychuk, Alexander Guber, Olga Talker, David Shitrit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This evaluation was undertaken to determine the incidence of bacteremia and infectious complications associated with argon plasma coagulation (APC) procedures. Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing bronchoscopy with APC for treatment of endobronchial lesions were studied. Venesection was performed for blood cultures within 60 s of the APC procedure. APC catheter washings were cultured. Patients with positive blood cultures were reviewed immediately. All patients underwent clinical review 1 and 12 weeks after APC. Results: Forty-two patients underwent 44 APC procedures. Their mean age was 66 ± 12 years. One case (2.3 %) had bacteremia with Acinetobacter lwolfii. APC catheter washing culture was positive in 14 (31.8 %) procedures. No patient had clinical features suggesting infection and there were no complications. Phone review after 1 week revealed no complications. After 3 months, 8 (18 %) had died, all related to advanced lung malignancy and not to the APC procedure. Conclusions: APC does not appear to increase the risk of bacteremia compared to airway insertion of the bronchoscope. Although contamination of the APC catheter with oropharyngeal commensal bacteria is common, clinically significant infection following the APC procedure is rare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-618
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Argon plasma coagulation
  • Bacteremia
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Infection


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