Bronchoscopy is the visual examination of the air passages leading into the lungs. The exam is done with a bronchoscope, a long, thin tube with a camera on the tip.

Respiratory Pathway
Resp pathway with sinus
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Bronchoscopy is most often done for the following reasons:

  • Diagnose a lung disease or infection
  • Examine obstructions and secretions
  • Obtain a tissue sample, called a biopsy
  • Obtain a secretion sample
  • Investigate the source of a persistent cough or blood that is being coughed up
  • Check for a foreign object that may have accidentally been inhaled rather than swallowed