Background and objective: Standard bronchoscopic techniques (transbronchial lung biopsy and endobronchial biopsy) provide a diagnosis in 70% of patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis. Previous data suggest that endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) has a high sensitivity in patients with sarcoidosis. The feasibility and utility of combining EBUS-TBNA with standard bronchoscopic techniques is unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility, safety and efficacy of combined EBUS-TBNA and standard bronchoscopic techniques in patients with suspected sarcoidosis and enlarged mediastinal or hilar lymphadenopathy.
Methods: Forty consecutive patients with suspected pulmonary sarcoidosis and enlarged mediastinal or hilar lymph nodes (radiographical stage I and stage II) underwent EBUS-TBNA followed by transbronchial biopsies and endobronchial biopsies under conscious sedation.
Results: Thirty-nine out of 40 patients successfully underwent combined EBUS-TBNA and standard bronchoscopy. Twenty-seven patients were diagnosed with sarcoidosis, eight had tuberculosis, two had reactive lymphadenopathy, two had lymphoma and one had metastatic adenocarcinoma. In patients with sarcoidosis, the sensitivity of EBUS-TBNA for detection of non-caseating granulomas was 85%, compared with a sensitivity of 35% for standard bronchoscopic techniques (P < 0.001). The diagnostic yield of combined EBUS-TBNA and bronchoscopy was 93% (P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Combination of EBUS-TBNA with standard bronchoscopic techniques is safe and feasible, and optimizes the diagnostic yield in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis and enlarged intrathoracic lymphadenopathy.
© 2011 The Authors. Respirology © 2011 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.