Background: Physicians are increasingly encountering lung nodules in their practice, and tissue diagnosis is often required. Conventional bronchoscopic sampling yields a range from 14% to 69% depending on the nodule size and location within the lung. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic yield of electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) in multiple centers and to determine what factors affect the yield of ENB.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of 92 consecutive ENB procedures at 5 centers was carried out. Data were collected on patient demographics, nodule characteristics, complications, type of samples obtained, diagnosis, and follow-up studies. Variables were analyzed to determine as to which factors had an impact on the diagnostic yield with multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results: Ninety-two patients underwent EMB at 5 centers between December 2008 and October 2009. The average nodule size was 2.61 cm (SD 1.42) at a distance of 1.81 cm (SD 1.32) from the pleural surface. The overall yield for ENB-guided sampling of pulmonary nodules was 65% (60/92). The ENB yield for nodules ≤2 versus >2 cm in size was significantly less after controlling for the distance from the pleura (50% vs. 76%, respectively; P=0.01). The distance from the pleura did not affect the ENB diagnostic yield after controlling for nodule size (P=0.92). The lobar location of the nodule also did not affect the diagnostic yield (P=0.59).
Conclusions: The diagnostic yield of ENB-guided sampling of pulmonary nodules is impacted by the nodule size, but not by the distance from the pleura or the lobar location.