Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy for lymphadenopathy of unknown origin

I Yasuda, H Tsurumi, S Omar, T Iwashita, Y Kojima, T Yamada, M Sawada, T Takami, H Moriwaki, N Soehendra
Endoscopy 2006, 38 (9): 919-24

BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS: The diagnosis of mediastinal and intra-abdominal lymphadenopathy is sometimes difficult, especially in patients who have no other primary lesions. Lymphoma is one of the main causes of this condition. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) is a safe and accurate diagnostic procedure for lesions surrounding the gastrointestinal tract. However, diagnosing lymphoma using the EUS-FNA technique remains a diagnostic challenge, due to limitations in the amount of material sampled. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the yield of EUS-FNA biopsy (EUS-FNAB) using a large-gauge needle in patients with mediastinal and intra-abdominal lymphadenopathy of unknown origin, especially in relation to subclassification of the lymphomas.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Consecutive patients with mediastinal and intra-abdominal lymphadenopathy of unknown origin who were referred between October 2003 and March 2005 were enrolled in the study. EUS-FNAB was carried out using a 19-gauge needle, passing through the esophageal, gastric, and duodenal walls. Pathological diagnoses were made on the basis of histological findings, including immunopathological staining.

RESULTS: A total of 104 patients were included in the study. The locations of the lymph nodes were mediastinal in 50 patients, intra-abdominal in 48 patients, and both mediastinal and intra-abdominal in six patients. The diagnoses made using EUS-FNAB were lymphoma (n = 48), metastasis (n = 16), and benign/reactive (n = 40). The overall accuracy of EUS-FNAB for unknown lymphadenopathy was 98 %, and it was possible to classify the lymphomas in accordance with the World Health Organization classifications in 88 % of cases. No serious complications occurred with the procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: Open thoracic surgery, laparotomy, and other invasive diagnostic procedures such as mediastinoscopy and laparoscopy can now be avoided, as EUS-FNAB is potentially a safe and accurate tool for diagnosing unknown lymphadenopathy, including lymphoma.

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