Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) biopsy is used to stage mediastinal lymph nodes in cancer patients to optimize treatment strategies. In this retrospective study, the authors determined the utility of EBUS-TBNA biopsy in the evaluation of mediastinal lymphadenopathy at a high-volume cancer center.
Materials and Methods:
The pathology database was searched for all patients who had undergone EBUS-TBNA biopsy of mediastinal lymph nodes over a one-year period. Cytologic diagnoses were correlated with clinical histories, subsequent resection, and clinical follow-up data.
Of 928 lymph node samples, 226 (24%) were diagnosed as malignant, 4 (0.4%) were suspicious for malignancy, 9 (1%) were atypical, 640 (69%) were benign, and 47 (5%) were insufficient for evaluation. In 89 (9.6%) cases, the patients had surgical resection. There was one false positive, in which the primary tumor contained infiltrating lymphocytes, had been sampled. There were five false-negative cases, which resulted from sampling errors, including two with micrometastases. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive value rates for EBUS-TBNA biopsy in the evaluation of mediastinal lymph nodes were 68.7% and 98.6% and 91.6% and 93.5%, respectively on a per lymph node basis. The overall clinical sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive value rates after one year clinical/radiological and histologic follow-up were 97%, 99.3%, 96.7% and 99.4%, respectively.
EBUS-TBNA biopsy is a sensitive and specific method for evaluating mediastinal lymphadenopathy in patients with lung and other primary tumors.