Combination of endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration with standard bronchoscopic techniques for the diagnosis of stage I and stage II pulmonary sarcoidosis


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Abstract

Background and objective:Standard bronchoscopic techniques (transbronchial lung biopsy and endobronchial biopsy) provide a diagnosis in 70% of patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis. Previous data suggest that endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) has a high sensitivity in patients with sarcoidosis. The feasibility and utility of combining EBUS-TBNA with standard bronchoscopic techniques is unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility, safety and efficacy of combined EBUS-TBNA and standard bronchoscopic techniques in patients with suspected sarcoidosis and enlarged mediastinal or hilar lymphadenopathy.Methods:Forty consecutive patients with suspected pulmonary sarcoidosis and enlarged mediastinal or hilar lymph nodes (radiographical stage I and stage II) underwent EBUS-TBNA followed by transbronchial biopsies and endobronchial biopsies under conscious sedation.Results:Thirty-nine out of 40 patients successfully underwent combined EBUS-TBNA and standard bronchoscopy. Twenty-seven patients were diagnosed with sarcoidosis, eight had tuberculosis, two had reactive lymphadenopathy, two had lymphoma and one had metastatic adenocarcinoma. In patients with sarcoidosis, the sensitivity of EBUS-TBNA for detection of non-caseating granulomas was 85%, compared with a sensitivity of 35% for standard bronchoscopic techniques (P < 0.001). The diagnostic yield of combined EBUS-TBNA and bronchoscopy was 93% (P < 0.0001).Conclusions:Combination of EBUS-TBNA with standard bronchoscopic techniques is safe and feasible, and optimizes the diagnostic yield in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis and enlarged intrathoracic lymphadenopathy.Transbronchial and endobronchial biopsies are recommended as initial procedures for the diagnosis of pulmonary sarcoidosis. In this study of patients with suspected stage I and stage II sarcoidosis, the addition of EBUS-TBNA to standard bronchoscopic techniques was safe and resulted in a significant improvement in diagnostic yield.

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