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Physicians ‘saw’ into the body using a bronchoscope. A flexible tube passed inside the nose to the back of the throat, down the windpipe and into the lungs. The instrument detects any abnormality in the lungs or helps diagnose diseases such as tuberculosis. The bronchoscope was introduced in 1952. This example incorporated a quartz rod within the tube. Light was transmitted by an internal reflection in the rod. This meant the lens systems of earlier bronchoscopes were discarded. Illumination was good enough for a specially mounted camera to take very clear photographs of the interior of the lungs.

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Glossary: bronchoscope

an instrument used to look into the trachea (wind pipe) and bronchi.

Glossary: respiratory disease

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