JOURNAL ARTICLE

Diagnosis of peripheral pulmonary carcinoid tumor using endobronchial ultrasound

Daniel P Steinfort, Moira Finlay, Louis B Irving
Annals of Thoracic Medicine 2008, 3 (4): 146-8
19561897
A 51-year-old woman with severe asthma underwent bronchoscopy and endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) for investigation of a 15-mm peripheral lung nodule. Histology demonstrated a typical carcinoid tumor. Pulmonary location is the second commonest site for carcinoid tumors. Diagnosis of peripheral carcinoid tumor of the lung is difficult due to its small size, poor accuracy of cytologic diagnosis, and low sensitivity of positron emission tomography in detecting it. EBUS has a high diagnostic yield and a low complication rate in the evaluation of small solitary pulmonary nodules. The ultrasound appearance of carcinoid tumors is identical to that of lung carcinomas. Prompt diagnosis of carcinoid tumor is desirable as regional lymph node metastasis is seen in 10% of patients and is associated with a reduced 5-year survival. We feel that, where possible, all patients presenting with solitary pulmonary nodules should be investigated initially using EBUS due to its high diagnostic rate and the very low incidence of adverse events.

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