Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) represents a minimally invasive technique to sample peribronchial and mediastinal lymph nodes for diagnosis of cancer, lymphoma, or sarcoidosis. However, the value of EBUS-TBNA in diagnosis of respiratory infections has not been well explored. Here, microbiologic testing data for EBUS-TBNA samples collected from 82 patients over a 30-month period were retrospectively reviewed. No organisms were identified on Gram, acid-fast, or fungal stains. Bacterial cultures were positive in 52% of samples; however, all but 1 culture were considered contaminants. Mycobacterial cultures yielded Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare not identified in a concurrent bronchoalveolar lavage sample in 1 patient. Fungal cultures were negative. Overall, routine microbiologic tests on EBUS-TBNA samples do not appear sufficiently sensitive to rule out infectious causes of adenopathy. High clinical suspicion for infection may require modification of sampling techniques or more sensitive detection methods.
Keywords: Culture; Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration; Lymph node; Microbiology.
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