Abstract

Bleeding is one of the most feared complications of flexible bronchoscopy. Although infrequent, it can be catastrophic and result in fatal outcomes. Compared to other endoscopic procedures, the risk of morbidity and mortality from the bleeding is increased, as even a small amount of blood can fill the tracheobronchial tree and lead to respiratory failure. Patients using antithrombotic agents (ATAs) have higher bleeding risk. A thorough understanding of the different ATAs is critical to manage patients during the peri-procedural period. A decision to stop an ATA before bronchoscopy should take into account a variety of factors, including indication for its use and the type of procedure. This article serves as a detailed review on the different ATAs, their pharmacokinetics and the pre- and post-bronchoscopy management of patients receiving these medications.