Background and objectives: Aspiration-induced lung injury accounts for a significant proportion of acute pulmonary dysfunction. Few studies were conducted to study the use of early bronchoscopy in mechanically ventilated patients with aspiration pneumonitis. This study aimed at assessing the clinical impact of early bronchoscopy for removal of gastric fluid and solid particles in the first 24 hours of mechanical ventilation (MV) on the progression of aspiration, MV days, intensive care unit (ICU) stay, development of pneumonia, and ICU mortality. Materials and methods: The study was an open-label randomized control trial and included 76 adult subjects mechanically ventilated due to aspiration pneumonitis, half the subjects received early bronchoscopy in the first 24 hours after aspiration for removal of aspirated material and bronchoalveolar lavage sampling, the other half received standard treatment. Results: The intervention group had a significant reduction in the rate of development of pneumonia at 60.5 vs 81.6%, p = 0.043 through the first week of admission, the intervention group has a significantly better hypoxic index (HI), white blood count, clinical pulmonary infection score, lung injury score, and sepsis-related organ failure assessment (SOFA) score compared to the control group. Although there was a reduction in mechanical ventilation days and ICU mortality in the intervention group vs control group that difference did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: Early bronchoscopy in mechanically ventilated patients with aspiration pneumonitis can be beneficial in improving respiratory functions and decreasing the incidence of development of aspiration pneumonia and may guide the de-escalation of antibiotic therapy.
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