Diagnosis and subtyping of de novo and relapsed mediastinal lymphomas by endobronchial ultrasound needle aspiration

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Nov 15;188(10):1216-23. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201303-0462OC.


Rationale: The current management of lymphoma requires accurate diagnosis and subtyping of de novo lymphoma and of relapsed or refractory lymphoma in known cases. The role of endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) in the clinical management of lymphomas is unclear.

Objectives: To investigate the use of EBUS-TBNA in the diagnosis of de novo and relapsed mediastinal lymphomas.

Methods: A total of 2,256 consecutive patients who underwent EBUS-TBNA in a tertiary center between February 2008 and April 2013 were prospectively evaluated. The diagnostic accuracy and clinical use of EBUS-TBNA in 100 cases of de novo or suspected relapsed mediastinal lymphoma was investigated by comparing EBUS-TBNA diagnosis with the final diagnosis.

Measurements and main results: De novo mediastinal lymphoma was correctly diagnosed by EBUS-TBNA in 45 (88%) of 51 and relapsed lymphoma in 15 (100%) of 15 lymphoma cases. EBUS-TBNA accurately established a diagnosis other than lymphoma in 32 (97%) of 33 patients with suspected lymphoma relapse. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of EBUS-TBNA in the diagnosis of mediastinal lymphoma were 89%, 97%, 98%, 83%, and 91%, respectively. Sensitivity of EBUS-TBNA in subtyping lymphomas into high-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma, low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma was 90%, 100%, and 79%, respectively. EBUS-TBNA diagnosis was adequate for clinical management in 84 (84%) of 100 cases.

Conclusions: Multimodality evaluation of EBUS-TBNA can be successful in the diagnosis of de novo mediastinal lymphomas and is ideally suited in distinguishing lymphoma relapse from alternative pathologies; it is least sensitive in subtyping Hodgkin lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphoma / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity