Study shows single-use bronchoscopes are "non-inferior" to reusable counterparts.

Bronchoscopy Procedure

Stacking Single-Use Bronchoscopes Up Against Reusables

“SFBs have low operation costs, low site requirements, and zero maintenance costs. We believe that SFBs will better meet the clinical needs with the continuous development of technology.”

Researchers out of China concluded that single-use bronchoscopes are “non-inferior” to their reusable counterparts when it comes to routine bronchoscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage and biopsy.

Their single-center prospective controlled trial included 45 patients who needed bronchoscopic biopsy. The study examined the time of routine bronchoscopy, the recovery rate of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, biopsy time and bleeding volume.

The performance of the single-use bronchoscopes was then evaluated by a questionnaire from nine operating physicians. They noted, among other things, that the devices were outstanding for portability.

A total of 100 physicians from different hospitals then participated in a survey to evaluate the clinical applications of single-use bronchoscopes. Most participants were respiratory physicians, with a few ICU physicians included.

“In general, although the cost per use of [single-use flexible bronchoscopes] may be higher than [reusables] for patients, the total cost of SFB is reduced compared to RFB in terms of infection control and overall healthcare resource consumption, which could also be adjusted in the future through hospital fees or health insurance, and so on,” the authors wrote.

Researchers noted that doctors do not yet widely use single-use bronchoscopes in China, and most physicians’ knowledge about them comes from literature and the internet.


Related Content: Webinar: Redefining What’s Possible with Single-Use Bronchoscopes


Ambu developed the first single-use bronchoscope in 2009 and has continued to innovate since then, expanding its portfolio into multiple clinical areas. Several competing single-use companies have entered the market.

Single-use flexible bronchoscopes have a wider clinical application than physicians currently are implementing, the researchers acknowledged.

Already, the Ambu® aScope 5 Broncho HD has expanded its reach from the ICU and other hospital settings into the bronch suite. Ambu also recently added thin and ultrathin bronchoscopes to its portfolio. The Ambu® aScope™5 Broncho 2.7/1.2 is the only single-use ultrathin bronchoscope on the market with a working channel.

 “SFBs have low operation costs, low site requirements, and zero maintenance costs,” the authors wrote. “We believe that SFBs will better meet the clinical needs with the continuous development of technology.”

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