Increased number of cancer cells in bronchial washing fluid detected by combining conventional cytology and high-resolution flow cytometry

F. Cicconetti, L. Teodori, M. Persiani, U. Di Tondo, P. Alò, A. Marci, S. Brun, W. Göhde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The present study was performed to improve early lung cancer diagnosis in bronchial washing fluid, thereby increasing the diagnostic sensitivity of bronchoscopy by means of high-resolution flow cytometry (FC). We combined dual-parameter DNA/protein FC and conventional cytology in bronchial washing fluid samples from 112 patients with neoplastic and nonneoplastic lung diseases and found 43 % of histologically confirmed tumor cases to be cytologically positive; 63% of the tumor samples were aneuploid, 52% of the aneuploid cases were cytologically positive and 48% were negative. In the negative cases, FC was an independent diagnostic factor. In 32% of the cases, FC also failed to detect abnormalities. However, the combination of both techniques increased the sensitivity in detecting neoplastic cells to 73%. Furthermore, simultaneous DNA/protein analysis allowed the recognition of aneuploid cell lines not detectable by single DNA measurement. Identification of aneuploid subpopulations by dual-parameter analysis in cytologically negative one-parameter FC 'diploid' samples assumes an important diagnostic value. Dual-parameter DNA/protein FC is a valuable technique that increases the diagnostic yield of bronchoscopy with no risk for the patient and a low additional cost.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571 - 577
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this