Indexed on: 24 May '14Published on: 24 May '14Published in: Respiratory Investigation
Massive lymphadenopathy and direct mediastinal invasion are well-recognized phenomena in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The aim of this study was to assess the utility of endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) in the diagnosis of SCLC.We retrospectively reviewed the records of 780 patients who underwent EBUS-TBNA at our institution from March 2004 to June 2012. Of these, 101 had a final diagnosis of SCLC. Excluding 3 patients with known SCLC who underwent EBUS-TBNA for staging purposes and including 2 patients who underwent EBUS-TBNA twice for the diagnosis of recurrence after achieving complete response by chemoradiation therapy during the study period, a total of 100 EBUS-TBNA procedures in 98 patients were analyzed.Other diagnostic tests prior to the initial EBUS-TBNA had failed to yield a diagnosis in 41 patients. The overall diagnostic yield of EBUS-TBNA for SCLC was 97% (97 of 100). Rapid on-site cytologic evaluation (ROSE) was performed at the operator's discretion in 77 procedures. ROSE did not have any impact on diagnostic yield (99% with ROSE vs. 90% without ROSE, p=0.1), but the use of ROSE was associated with fewer lesions (mean 1.1 with ROSE vs. 1.6 without ROSE, p<0.01) or aspirates (mean 2.3 with ROSE vs. 4.0 without ROSE, p<0.01).EBUS-TBNA provided a high diagnostic yield in SCLC with or without ROSE. EBUS-TBNA can be recommended for patients suspected to have SCLC, even if other diagnostic tests have failed.