The aim of this study was to investigate the value of endoscopic ultrasound-guided biopsy for the diagnosis of thoracic lesions.Methods:
Transesophageal ultrasound-guided biopsy was performed in 29 patients with mediastinal (n = 25) or pulmonary tumors (n = 4). A flexible echoendoscope with a 7.5 MHz curved array transducer (Pentax FG 32 UA, Hamburg, Germany) and a biopsy device with a fine needle (diameter 0.8 mm) were used for all examinations. Three patients were excluded from the analysis of the data because a definite diagnosis based on surgery or follow-up was not available.Results:
Real-time visualization of the biopsy procedure with endoscopic ultrasound enabled accurate tissue sampling even of small mediastinal lesions with a diameter of less than 1 cm. Diagnostic material was obtained in 23 of the 26 patients (88%). In 3 cases (12%) non-representative biopsy material was found in the specimen. The sensitivity and specificity of transesophageal biopsy in the diagnosis of malignancy were 89% and 83%, respectively. Histologic analysis of the biopsy specimens established malignancy in 17 of 23 patients, whereas benign lesions were diagnosed in 6 patients. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided biopsy confirmed the diagnosis suggested by conventional diagnostic methods in 15 of 23 patients (65%), whereas an unsuspected diagnosis was disclosed in 8 patients (35%). The results of the biopsy had considerable impact on the therapeutic strategy. None of the patients had complications related to the procedure.Conclusions:
Endoscopic ultrasound-guided biopsy provides a new minimally invasive approach to the biopsy of lesions in the posterior mediastinum and may complement surgical staging procedures.