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Open Access Technical advance

Bronchoscopic intratumoral injection of tranexamic acid to prevent excessive bleeding during multiple forceps biopsies of lesions with a high risk of bleeding: a prospective case series

Adil Zamani

Author Affiliations

Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Meram Medical Faculty, Necmettin Erbakan University, Akyokus Mevkii, Meram 42080, Konya, Turkey

BMC Cancer 2014, 14:143  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-143

Published: 1 March 2014



Significant bleeding may occur following endobronchial forceps biopsy or brushing of necrotic or hypervascular tumors in the airways. In some cases, methods such as endobronchial instillation of iced saline lavage and epinephrine may fail to control bleeding. The present study evaluated the efficacy and safety of a new bronchoscopic technique using intratumoral injection of tranexamic acid (IIT) for control of bleeding during forceps biopsy in patients with endobronchial tumors with a high risk of bleeding.


The study was a prospective case series carried out in a single center. Bronchoscopic IIT was performed in those patients who had endoscopically visible tumoral lesions with persistent active bleeding following the first attempt at bronchoscopic sampling. Tranexamic acid (TEA) was injected through a 22-gauge Wang cytology needle into the lesion in nominal doses of 250–500 mg. After 2–3 minutes, multiple forceps biopsy specimens were obtained from the lesion.


Of the 57 consecutive patients included in the study, 20 patients (35.1%) underwent bronchoscopic IIT. The first attempt in 18 patients was endobronchial forceps biopsy (EBB), and because of a high risk of bleeding, the first attempt for the remaining two patients, who were on continuous dual antiplatelet therapy (aspirin and clopidogrel), employed endobronchial needle aspiration (EBNA) as a precautionary measure. Following IIT, subsequent specimens were obtained using EBB in all patients. Multiple forceps biopsy specimens (3–10) were obtained from the lesions (8 necrotic and 12 hypervascular) without incurring active bleeding. The following histopathologic diagnoses were made: squamous cell carcinoma (n = 14), adenocarcinoma (n = 2), small-cell lung cancer (n = 3), and malignant mesenchymal tumor (n = 1). No side effects of TEA were observed.


Bronchoscopic IIT is a useful and safe technique for controlling significant bleeding from a forceps biopsy procedure and can be considered as a pre-biopsy injection for lesions with a high risk of bleeding.

Trial registration


Biopsy; Bronchoscopy; Hemorrhage; Lung cancer; Tranexamic acid