Diagnostic Yield of Transbronchial Needle Aspiration in Intrathoracic Lymphadenopathy


1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine,

2 Department of Pathology, Babol University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, BABOLIRAN.


Background: Transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) is a safe and effective technique for the diagnosis of mediastinal lesions. The aim of this study was to evaluate diagnostic yield of TBNA in patients with benign and malignant lesions involving mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes. Materials and Methods: TBNA procedures were performed using a flexible bronchoscope and a 22-gauge cytologic needle in 22 patients with mediastinal or hilar adenopathy identified on CT of the chest. Based on the clinical diagnosis or presence of endobronchial lesions, other procedures such as bronchoalveolar lavage, bronchial biopsy, and transbronchial lung biopsy were performed. Results: Among 22 patients with a mean age of 50±18 years, 13 were males (59%) and 9 were females (41%). Adequate lymph node samples were obtained in 16 patients (72.7%). Among 9 patients with malignancy, TBNA provided diagnostic results in 5 patients (55.5%). TBNA provided adequate specimen in 10 out of 13 patients with sarcoidosis, but in 2 patients (15.4%) diagnosis was made by TBNA. Overall, TBNA yield was 31.8%. There was no complication during TBNA procedures. Conclusion: TBNA is a minimally invasive technique for diagnosis of intrathoracic lymphadenopathy, especially in malignant diseases. The procedure also can be used as a diagnostic tool in patients with sarcoidosis, although the yield is low. (Tanaffos 2008; 7(2): 23-27)