Flexible transbronchial needle aspiration in the diagnosis of sarcoidosis

Chest. 1994 Sep;106(3):709-11. doi: 10.1378/chest.106.3.709.


The histopathologic diagnosis of sarcoidosis requires the presence of noncaseating granulomas. Transbronchoscopic lung biopsy (TBLB) has been considered the procedure of choice when less invasive tissue samples are unavailable. A total of 51 consecutive patients suspected of having sarcoidosis underwent combined TBLB and flexible transbronchial needle aspirate (TBNA). In 18 of the 30 patients (60 percent) with stage I disease, the diagnosis was confirmed by TBLB and 16 (53 percent) were confirmed by TBNA. The combined use of both procedures increased the diagnostic yield to 83 percent. The remaining 21 patients with stage II disease had their diagnosis confirmed in 16 (76 percent) cases by TBLB and 10 (48 percent) by TBNA with a combined diagnostic yield of 86 percent. Seven (23 percent) patients with stage I disease and 2 (10 percent) with stage II disease had their conditions diagnosed by TBNA. We conclude that combining TBNA with TBLB increases the diagnostic yield in pulmonary sarcoidosis; TBNA should complement TBLB in the diagnosis of this disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle / instrumentation
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Female
  • Fiber Optic Technology
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / classification
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / pathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed