The Intubated Patient With Mediastinal Disease—A Role for Esophageal Access Using the Endobronchial Ultrasound Bronchoscope

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Ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration using the bronchoscope with a dedicated curvilinear probe has emerged as a primary tool for the investigation of mediastinal pathology. Recently, the utility of this scope has been expanded to include access via the esophagus. In this case series, we describe a role for esophageal ultrasound using the endobronchial ultrasound bronchoscope in the diagnostic evaluation of critically ill/intubated patients with mediastinal disease. Esophageal access with the ultrasound bronchoscope allows the pulmonologist to diagnose mediastinal disease in the intubated patient with minimal risk.

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