1st Department of Respiratory Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Globally, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death. Annual low-dose computed tomography has been recommended as a screening test for early detection of lung cancers. Implementing this screening strategy is expected to challenge pulmonologist to confirm the nature of the increasing number of detected pulmonary nodules. Clinicians are obliged to use the less invasive and most efficient and safe means to set diagnoses. Hence, the field of diagnostic modalities, especially the advanced diagnostic bronchoscopy is witnessing rapid evolution to fulfill these unmet needs. This review highlights the available diagnostic modalities, describes their advantages and discusses the limitations of each technique. It also suggests an integrated diagnostic algorithm based on the best available evidence. A search of the PubMed database was conducted using relevant terms described at methodology; only articles in English were reviewed by November 2016.