A retrospective study of endobronchial ultrasound transbronchial needle aspiration versus conventional transbronchial needle aspiration in diagnosis/staging of hilar/mediastinal lymph node in lung cancer: Which role in clinical practice?

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Sergio C. Conte *
Giulia Spagnol
Marco Biolo
Marco Confalonieri
(*) Corresponding Author:
Sergio C. Conte | sergio.conte@aulss2.veneto.it

Abstract

The conventional-trans bronchial needle aspiration (c-TBNA) has been the first procedure for sampling hilar/mediastinal lymph node for the diagnosis/staging of lung cancer. In the last decade the endobronchial ultrasound trans bronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) was introduced in clinical practice and became the first-choice exam in diagnosis and staging of lung cancer. The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy (DA), sensitivity and adequacy of c-TBNA and EBUS-TBNA. It was a retrospective and observational multicenter study. The first endpoint was diagnostic accuracy of EBUS-TBNA versus c-TBNA. The secondary end-points were sensitivity and adequacy. Two hundred and nine consecutive patients underwent the procedure, 99 EBUS-TBNA and 110 c-TBNA. When lymph nodes with short axis <2 cm the diagnostic accuracy for correct diagnosis was 94.2% in EBUS-TBNA group and 89.7% in c-TBNA group (p=0.01); the sample adequacy was 70.3% and 42%, respectively (p=0.01); the sensitivity was 93% (95% CI, 82-98%) and 86.4% (95% CI, 67.6-95.6%), respectively (p=0.002). In lymph nodes with short axis ≥2 cm the diagnostic accuracy was 95.7% in EBUS-TBNA group and 93% in c-TBNA group (p=0.939); the sample adequacy was 68.7% and 68.3%, respectively (p=0.889); the sensitivity was 95.1% (95% CI, 83-99%) and 92.1%, respectively (95% CI, 78.7-97.7%) (p=0.898). The EBUS-TBNA in patients with lymph nodes size <2 cm presented a statistically significant difference in the DA, adequacy and sensitivity compared to c-TBNA procedure, while there were no significant differences in the DA, adequacy and sensitivity between EBUS-TBNA and c-TBNA in patients with lymph node size ≥2 cm. The results of our study indicated that the EBUS-TBNA should be the first-choice procedure for the diagnosis/staging in lung cancer patients with lymph node size <2 cm. In patients with lymph node size ≥2 cm, instead, both procedures can be used for the diagnosis/staging of lung cancer.


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