PMID: 17409878Apr 6, 2007Paper

The role of transbronchial fine needle aspiration in an integrated care pathway for the assessment of patients with suspected lung cancer

Journal of Thoracic Oncology : Official Publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
Pallav L ShahA Nicholson


Transbronchial fine needle aspiration (TBNA) is a simple technique for sampling mediastinal lymph nodes and may provide additional information in patients with suspected lung cancer. However, the technique is still under-utilized, and the objective of this study was to evaluate the value of TBNA as part of an integrated pathway for the assessment of patients with suspected lung cancer. All patients referred to the lung cancer services of our institutions were prospectively evaluated. TBNA was performed in all patients with evidence of mediastinal lymphadenopathy. TBNA of one or more lymph node sites were performed in 129 of these patients. TBNA was the sole diagnostic modality in 23% of patients and provided positive staging information for 49% of patients, with adequate sampling in 71% of patients. Among patients with mediastinal adenopathy, the number of patients who required a TBNA performed to diagnose one patient with malignancy in patients suspected with lung cancer (number needed to diagnose) was 1.47 (95% confidence interval, 1.47-1.76). No complications were observed in patients who underwent TBNA. TBNA improves the diagnostic yield and staging of patients with lung cancer. Moreover, it is a simple, low-cost, and safe ...Continue Reading


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