Diagnosing and monitoring pulmonary diseases is highly dependent on imaging, physiological function tests and tissue sampling. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) are novel imaging techniques with near-microscopic resolution that can be easily and safely combined with conventional bronchoscopy. Disease-related pulmonary anatomical compartments can be visualized, real time, using these techniques. In obstructive lung diseases, airway wall layers and related structural remodelling can be identified and quantified. In malignant lung disease, normal and malignant areas of the central airways, lung parenchyma, lymph nodes and pleura can be discriminated. A growing number of interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) have ...