Relevance of training in transbronchial fine-needle aspiration technique

Chest. 1997 Jan;111(1):103-5. doi: 10.1378/chest.111.1.103.


Transbronchial fine-needle aspiration (TBFNA) is a valuable and low-risk procedure that provides access to mediastinal nodes. To learn if increased experience improved TBFNA performance, we compared overtime TBFNA diagnostic yields between a skilled bronchoscopist and another without experience on TBFNA technique. We found higher TBFNA yields in the experienced bronchoscopist (p < 0.001); however, after some experience, the TBFNA reliability improved (p < 0.02) and the use of the procedure increased (p < 0.0001). Thus, to achieve acceptable TBFNA results, a training period is required that we estimate in about 50 procedures.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle*
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / pathology*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity