Transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) in the early diagnosis and staging of bronchogenic carcinoma

Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci. 2003 Apr-Jun;45(2):111-5.


Background: Transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) has evolved as a useful technique to establish diagnosis in patients suspected of having bronchogenic carcinoma.

Methods: Transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) was done in twenty-five patients with either proved or suspected bronchogenic carcinoma using a flexible bronchoscope. Results of 19 patients who had pulmonary malignancy were analysed.

Results: In the 12 patients with endobronchially visible abnormality, TBNA could correctly identify eleven patients with carcinoma and one patient, who was a treated case, with no evidence of residual disease. In the seven patients with bronchoscopically invisible extrabronchial disease, TBNA could identify four patients with malignancy and also characterize true negative disease in a treated case with subcarinal lymph node. TBNA could define the correct cytology in all the patients with visible tumours and in 59% of patients with bronchoscopically invisible tumours. The procedure was diagnostic in 84% of the cases. Mediastinal lymph node sampling in nine patients by TBNA, with the help of contrast enhanced CT scans, was positive in five patients and negative in the other four patients thus helping in nodal staging.

Conclusions: Although the sample size of the study was small, the procedure was found to be very useful for the early diagnosis and staging of bronchogenic carcinoma. It was safe, well tolerated and no untoward complications were observed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging