Combined endobronchial and endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration for mediastinal nodal staging of lung cancer

R Ohnishi, I Yasuda, T Kato, T Tanaka, Y Kaneko, T Suzuki, S Yasuda, K Sano, S Doi, M Nakashima, T Hara, H Tsurumi, N Murakami, H Moriwaki
Endoscopy 2011, 43 (12): 1082-9

BACKGROUND: Recently, transesophageal endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) has been evaluated for mediastinal nodal staging (N staging) of lung cancer, as this technique is less invasive than mediastinoscopy and possibly more accurate than 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography with computed tomography (PET-CT). However, EUS-FNA does not provide access to pretracheal and hilar lymph nodes. More recently, endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) has been introduced as a novel technique for accessing pretracheal and hilar lymph nodes. Although the combined endoscopic approach of EUS-FNA and EBUS-TBNA is presumably more accurate than PET-CT, only a few reports have quantitatively evaluated its diagnostic ability. Therefore, we prospectively assessed the diagnostic yield of this combined endoscopic approach for mediastinal N staging of lung cancer.

METHODS: A consecutive series of 120 patients with suspected resectable lung cancer on CT findings underwent PET-CT and combined EUS-FNA/EBUS-TBNA. The accuracy and other diagnostic indices of the combined approach in mediastinal N staging were compared with those of PET-CT.

RESULTS: Among the enrolled patients, a final pathological N stage was established in 110 patients. The accuracy of the combined approach using EUS-FNA and EBUS-TBNA was significantly higher than that of PET-CT (90.0 % vs. 73.6 %; P < 0.0001). The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were respectively 71.8 %, 100 %, 100 %, and 86.6 % for the combined approach vs. 47.4 %, 87.5 %, 66.7 %, and 75.9 % for PET-CT.

CONCLUSIONS: The combined endoscopic approach using EUS-FNA and EBUS-TBNA provided excellent diagnostic performance. Therefore, this approach is strongly recommended before surgery or mediastinoscopy to avoid futile thoracotomy and surgical intervention.

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