Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic utility of endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)-guided transbronchial biopsy (TBB) using a novel 3.4-mm thin bronchoscope and a 1.4-mm ultrasonic probe for peripheral pulmonary lesions.
Methods: A total of 86 patients with suspected peripheral lesions were included in this prospective study. EBUS-TBBs were performed using a prototype 3.4-mm thin bronchoscope and a 1.4-mm radial ultrasonic probe under fluoroscopic guidance.
Results: Twelve patients with endobronchial lesions within the segmental bronchi and three patients who did not return to follow-up were excluded from this analysis. Thus, a total of 71 patients with peripheral pulmonary lesions (mean size, 31.2 +/- 12.7 mm) were included in the final analysis. The mean bronchus level reached with the thin bronchoscope was 4.6 generations. Diagnostic histologic specimens were obtained in 49 of 71 patients (69%:80% for malignant lesions and 52% for benign lesions). A definitive diagnosis of malignancy for lesions > or =20 mm and lesions < 20 mm was made in 82% (31 of 38) and 67% (four of six), respectively. There were no significant complications.
Conclusion: The EBUS-TBB using a 3.4-mm thin bronchoscope and a 1.4-mm radial probe is feasible, accurate, and safe for the diagnosis of peripheral pulmonary lesions.