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Transbronchial Needle Aspiration: A Tool for a Community Bronchoscopist

Küpeli, Elif MD*; Cörüt, Ruhsel MD*; Memiş, Leyla; Eyüboğlu, Füsun Öner*

Journal of Bronchology & Interventional Pulmonology: April 2012 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 115–120
doi: 10.1097/LBR.0b013e31824dd19a
Original Investigations

Background: Conventional transbronchial needle aspiration (C-TBNA) has been proven to be a safe, minimally invasive, and cost-effective technique in establishing the diagnosis of mediastinal pathologies. We studied the success of C-TBNA in our community practice, in patients with mediastinal lymphadenopathies.

Materials and Methods: The technique of C-TBNA was learned solely from the literature, videos, and by practicing on inanimate models during “hands-on” courses. Conventional TBNA with 21- and/or 19-gauge Smooth Shot Needles was performed on consecutive patients with undiagnosed mediastinal lymphadenopathy.

Results: Fifty-four patients (38 men), mean age 56.9±11.8 years, underwent C-TBNA. Thirty-three patients had nodes >20 mm. The final diagnoses were malignancy, 29; sarcoidosis, 9; reactive lymph nodes, 15; and tuberculosis, 1. The final diagnosis was established by C-TBNA in 27. The exclusive diagnostic yield of TBNA was 42.5% (n: 23). Nodal size had an impact on outcome (P=0.002), whereas location did not (P=0.82). C-TBNA was positive in 22/34 when malignancy was suspected (yield 64.7%) and positive in 5/20 when benign diagnoses were also included in the differential (yield 25%) (P=0.005). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predicted value, negative predicted value, and diagnostic accuracy were 79.4%, 100%, 100%, 73%, and 81.5%, respectively.

Conclusions: C-TBNA can be successfully learned without formal training and can be easily applied in the community practice.

*Pulmonary Diseases Department, Başkent University School of Medicine

Pathology Department, Gazi University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

Disclosure: There is no conflict of interest or other disclosures.

Reprints: Elif Kupeli, MD, Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Başkent University School of Medicine, Fevzi Cakmak Cad, 5 sok, No 48, 06490 Bahçelievler, Ankara, Turkey (e-mail:

Received December 14, 2011

Accepted January 26, 2012

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.