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Minerva Medica 2015 October;106(5 Suppl 1):13-9


lingua: Inglese

Choose the best route: ultrasound-guided transbronchial and transesophageal needle aspiration with echobronchoscope in the diagnosis of mediastinal and pulmonary lesions

Mondoni M. 1, D’Adda A. 2, Terraneo S. 1, Carlucci P. 1, Radovanovic D. 3, Di Marco F. 1, Santus P. 3

1 Respiratory Unit, San Paolo Hospital, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 2 Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Physiopathology and Organ Transplantation, IRCCS Fondazione Ca’ Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico di Milano, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 3 Department of Medical Sciences, University of Milan, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Scientific Institute of Milan‑IRCCS, Milan, Italy


Nodal mediastinal staging is a crucial part of the diagnostic workup of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) for planning optimal treatment. Transesophageal endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) and real-time endobronchial ultrasounds transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) are accurate, minimally invasive and safe diagnostic techniques for mediastinal staging. Because of the different accessibility to the mediastinum, they are considered complementary and their combination increases the diagnostic yield as compared with the either alone. Recent studies have shown that endosonography represents the best initial test for invasive mediastinal evaluation in NSCLC. Endoscopic ultrasound (with bronchoscope)-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-B-FNA) is a recently introduced procedure consisting of a transesophageal needle aspiration using an ultrasound bronchoscope. It allows to perform both transbronchial and transesophageal needle sampling with the same instrument, in the same session and by one operator only, thus maximizing time and costs savings. In a recent study Oki et al. randomized 110 patients with hilar/mediastinal adenopathies or lung abnormalities adjoining both the esophagus and the bronchi, to undergo EBUS-TBNA or EUS-FNA performed by pulmonologists with an echobronchoscope. The Authors demonstrated that both procedures provide a high diagnostic yield, without any difference in the number of adverse events and a good comparable tolerance. Nevertheless, the transesophageal approach guaranteed a significantly lower dose of anesthetics and sedatives, a shorter procedural time, fewer oxygen desaturations, a significantly lower cough score and a higher operator satisfaction. In this review our aim was to discuss the findings by Oki et al. in the context of medical literature, highlighting the importance of the EUS-B needle aspiration technique in diagnosing mediastinal and lung lesions, when EBUS-TBNA is deemed less suitable. Finally, we pointed out the importance of interventional pulmonologists being trained to perform mediastinal sampling by the esophageal route, to choose the best solution in every technical and clinical occurence.

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