There is limited evidence regarding the effect of age on the specimen adequacy, positivity rate of specimen on cytology (PR), and safety of endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA). The aim of this study was to investigate the utility of EBUS-TBNA in the elderly
This was a retrospective study of subjects who underwent EBUS-TBNA. We compare the specimen adequacy, PR, and the incidence of complications in the elderly
(age 65 y and above) versus the younger subjects (age younger than 65 y). A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the factors affecting the diagnostic yield.
Of the 1816 subjects, 258 (14.2%) were elderly
. The specimen adequacy was similar between the old and the young (93.5% vs. 96.3%, P
=0.053). The PR in the elderly
(48.8%) was lower (P
<0.001) than the younger subjects (66.7%). Among those with a definite diagnosis made on EBUS-TBNA, 55.4% of the older subjects had malignancy, while 82.4% of the young had granulomatous disorders. The incidence of complications was similar in the 2 groups (3.9% vs. 4.4%, P
=0.87). The specimen adequacy, PR and complications were also similar among the different age groups within the older population (65 to 69, 70 to 74, 75 to 79, and 80 y and above). On multivariate logistic regression analysis, older age, the number of lymph nodes sampled, the lymph node size, and needle reuse influenced the PR.
EBUS-TBNA appears to have a similar specimen adequacy and safety but a lower PR in the elderly
as compared with the younger individuals.