Any discussion relative to the comparative diagnostic accuracy of bronchoscopy, scalene-node biopsy, and exfoliative cytology has two implied restrictions: (1) The patients under consideration are lung cancer suspects. They have signs or symptoms suggestive of lung cancer or have suspicious roentgenographic findings (usually both). This excludes any evaluation of these techniques for screening healthy populations. Only cytology in this diagnostic triad would be feasible for such study, and it would be contrasted with roentgenographic results, not those of bronchoscopy or scalene-node biopsy. (2) This is a comparison of microscopic diagnoses and therefore excludes bronchoscopic visual diagnoses.
Our comparative results are demonstrated in Tables 1 and 2.
A bronchoscopic biopsy positive for malignancy is still the most valuable preoperative finding. False-positive diagnoses are rare. They usually occur when the pathologist, trying to avoid equivocation, bases his diagnosis on insufficient evidence.Unfortunately, the percentage of bronchial biopsies positive for malignancy