Yonsei Med J.  2013 May;54(3):672-678. 10.3349/ymj.2013.54.3.672.

Endobronchial Ultrasound-Guided Transbronchial Needle Aspiration for the Diagnosis of Central Lung Parenchymal Lesions

  • 1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sangwonum@skku.edu
  • 2Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Changi General Hospital, Singapore.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of convex probe endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) for detecting malignancy in parenchymal pulmonary lesions located adjacent to the central airways.
We retrospectively reviewed the diagnostic performance of EBUS-TBNA in consecutive patients with high clinical suspicion of a centrally located primary lung cancer who had undergone EBUS-TBNA at the Samsung Medical Center between May 2009 and June 2011.
Thirty-seven patients underwent EBUS-TBNA for intrapulmonary lesions adjacent to the central airways. Seven lesions were located adjacent to the trachea and 30 lesions were located adjacent to the bronchi. Cytologic and histologic samples obtained via EBUS-TBNA were diagnostic in 32 of 37 (86.4%) of patients. The final diagnosis was lung cancer in 30 patients (7 small cell lung cancer, 23 non-small cell lung cancer), lymphoma in one and malignant fibrous histiocytoma in one patient. The diagnostic sensitivity of EBUS-TBNA in detecting malignancy and detecting both malignancy and benignity was 91.4% and 86.5%, respectively. Two patients experienced minor complications.
EBUS-TBNA is an effective and safe method for tissue diagnosis of parenchymal lesions that lie centrally close to the airways. EBUS-TBNA should be considered the procedure of choice for patients with centrally located lesions without endobronchial involvement.


Bronchoscopy; endobronchial ultrasound; transbronchial needle aspiration; lung cancer; parenchymal lesion
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