Background: We assessed the effectiveness of applying the distance from the orifice of the bronchus to visualized peripheral pulmonary lesion (PPL) under endobronchial ultrasonography (EBUS) to transbronchial biopsy (TBB), as an alternative to EBUS with a guide sheath (GS) and fluoroscopy.
Patients and methods: From October 2004 to July 2005, a total of 158 consecutive patients with solitary PPLs, which were not visualized under flexible video bronchoscopy, were received EBUS for advanced localization subsequently. One hundred and thirteen of 158 patients with solitary PPLs which were visualized on EBUS image were included in this prospective study and randomly divided into two groups for TBB using different methods. In group EBUS-D (57 patients) the distance from the bronchial orifice to pulmonary lesion was measured, then the biopsy forceps were advanced to this measured distance and biopsy followed. In group EBUS (56 patients) the biopsy forceps were advanced regardless of distance. The diagnostic yields were then compared.
Results: TBBs in group EBUS-D patients had a significantly higher diagnostic yield (45/57, 78.9%) than group EBUS patients (32/56, 57.1%) [P=0.013]. Size and location of lesion, duration of EBUS, diagnosis of malignancy, and whether the probe was located within the lesion on EBUS image did not differ between these two groups. Mild bleeding occurred in three patients in group EBUS-D and two in group EBUS. One group EBUS patient had a self-limited pneumothorax.
Conclusions: Measuring and applying the distance between the orifice of bronchus and the lesion could increase the diagnostic yield of EBUS-guided TBBs for PPLs.