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      Is endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration an effective diagnostic procedure in restaging of non-small cell lung cancer patients?

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          Background and Objectives:

          Selecting the diagnostic procedure for mediastinal restaging after chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in Stage IIIA-N2 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients remains a problem. The aim of the study was to determine the efficacy of endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) for the evaluation of mediastinal lymph nodes in the restaging of NSCLC patients.

          Materials and Methods:

          The present multicentric study retrospectively analyzed the results of Stage IIIA-N2 NSCLC patients who had undergone EBUS for mediastinal restaging after preoperative chemotherapy or radiotherapy or both.


          In 44 patients with 73 N2 nodes, malignant cells were identified in EBUS-TBNA from 23 patients (57.5%) and 25 lymph nodes (34.2%). Twenty-one patients (42.5%) and 48 lymph nodes (65.8%) were negative for nodal metastasis. All of these patients with negative results subsequently underwent mediastinoscopy or surgery ( n = 9 and n = 12, respectively). Metastasis was detected in 5 (23.8%) of 21 patients and 6 (12.5%) of 48 lymph nodes. The diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predicted value and accuracy of EBUS-TBNA based on number of patients were 82.1%, 100%, 100%, 76.2%, and 88.6%, respectively.


          EBUS-TBNA should be done before invasive procedures in restaging of the mediastinum in patients previously treated with neoadjuvant therapy because of high diagnostic accuracy rate. However, negative results should be confirmed with invasive procedures such as mediastinoscopy and thoracoscopy.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Revisions in the International System for Staging Lung Cancer.

          Revisions in stage grouping of the TNM subsets (T=primary tumor, N=regional lymph nodes, M=distant metastasis) in the International System for Staging Lung Cancer have been adopted by the American Joint Committee on Cancer and the Union Internationale Contre le Cancer. These revisions were made to provide greater specificity for identifying patient groups with similar prognoses and treatment options with the least disruption of the present classification: T1N0M0, stage IA; T2N0M0, stage IB; T1N1M0, stage IIA; T2N1M0 and T3N0M0, stage IIB; and T3N1M0, T1N2M0, T2N2M0, T3N2M0, stage IIIA. The TNM subsets in stage IIIB-T4 any N M0, any T N3M0, and in stage IV-any T any N M1, remain the same. Analysis of a collected database representing all clinical, surgical-pathologic, and follow-up information for 5,319 patients treated for primary lung cancer confirmed the validity of the TNM and stage grouping classification schema.
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            Real-time endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration of mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes.

            Although various techniques are available for obtaining pathology specimens from the mediastinal lymph nodes, including conventional bronchoscopic transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA), transesophageal ultrasonography-guided needle aspiration, and mediastinoscopy, there are limitations to these techniques, which include low yield, poor access, need for general anesthesia, or complications. To overcome these problems, we undertook the current study to evaluate the clinical utility of the newly developed ultrasound puncture bronchoscope to visualize and perform real-time TBNA of the mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes under direct endobronchial ultrasonography (EBUS) guidance. Prospective patient enrollment. University teaching hospital. From March 2002 to September 2003, 70 patients were included in the study. The new convex probe (CP) EBUS is integrated with a convex scanning probe on its tip with a separate working channel, thus permitting real-time EBUS-guided TBNA. The indications for CP-EBUS were the diagnosis of mediastinal and/or hilar lymphadenopathy for known or suspected malignancy. Lymph nodes and the surrounding vessels were first visualized with CP-EBUS using the Doppler mode. The dimensions of the lymph nodes were recorded, followed by real-time TBNA under direct EBUS guidance. Final diagnosis was based on cytology, surgical results, and/or clinical follow-up. All lymph nodes that were detected on the chest CT scan could be visualized using CP-EBUS. In 70 patients, CP-EBUS-guided TBNA was performed to obtain samples from mediastinal lymph nodes (58 nodes) and hilar lymph nodes (12 nodes). The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of CP-EBUS-guided TBNA in distinguishing benign from malignant lymph nodes were 95.7%, 100%, and 97.1%, respectively. The procedure was uneventful, and there were no complications. Real-time CP-EBUS-guided TBNA of mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes is a novel approach that is safe and has a good diagnostic yield. This new ultrasound puncture bronchoscope has an excellent potential for assisting in safe and accurate diagnostic interventional bronchoscopy.
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              ESTS guidelines for preoperative lymph node staging for non-small cell lung cancer.

              Accurate preoperative staging and restaging of mediastinal lymph nodes in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is of paramount importance. It will guide choices of treatment and determine prognosis and outcome. Over the last years, different techniques have become available. They vary in accuracy and procedure-related morbidity. The Council of the ESTS initiated a workshop on preoperative mediastinal lymph node staging. This resulted in guidelines for primary staging and restaging. For primary staging, mediastinoscopy remains the gold standard for the superior mediastinal lymph nodes. Invasive procedures can be omitted in patients with peripheral tumors and negative mediastinal positron emission tomography (PET) images. However, in case of central tumors, PET hilar N1 disease, low fluorodeoxyglucose uptake of the primary tumor and LNs > or = 16 mm on CT scan, invasive staging remains indicated. PET positive mediastinal findings should always be cyto-histologically confirmed. Transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA), ultrasound-guided bronchoscopy with fine needle aspiration (EBUS-FNA) and endoscopic esophageal ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) are new techniques that provide cyto-histological diagnosis and are minimally invasive. Their specificity is high but the negative predictive value is low. Because of this, if they yield negative results, an invasive surgical technique is indicated. However, if fine needle aspiration is positive, this result may be valid as proof for N2 or N3 disease. For restaging, invasive techniques providing cyto-histological information are advisable despite the encouraging results supported with the use of PET/CT imaging. Both endoscopic techniques and surgical procedures are available. If they yield a positive result, non-surgical treatment is indicated in most patients.

                Author and article information

                Endosc Ultrasound
                Endosc Ultrasound
                Endoscopic Ultrasound
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                May-Jun 2017
                : 6
                : 3
                : 162-167
                Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Yedikule Chest Disease and Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
                [1 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Izmir Suat Seren Chest Disease and Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
                [2 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Atatürk Chest Disease and Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
                [3 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence Dr. Nuri Tutar, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey. E-mail: drnuritutar@
                Copyright: © 2017 Spring Media Publishing Co. Ltd

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

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