Indexed on: 17 Oct '14Published on: 17 Oct '14Published in: Journal of bronchology & interventional pulmonology
Conventional transbronchial needle aspiration (C-TBNA) is a well-established technique for the diagnosis and staging of bronchogenic carcinoma. Because of the implementation of the endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA), the C-TBNA is being used less frequently. Despite its proven diagnostic utility some of the pulmonary fellowship programs have chosen to eliminate training for C-TBNA from their curriculum. The objective our study was to compare the outcomes of C-TBNA before and after the implementation of EBUS in our unit.We compared the diagnostic performance of C-TBNA in 2 groups of non-small cell lung cancer patients with mediastinal lymph nodes >10 mm in short axis as seen on the computed tomography scan of the chest. Patients underwent C-TBNA before (group A, N=147) or after (group B, N=67) implementing EBUS technology in our unit. C-TBNA technique was performed by the same bronchoscopists before and after being proficient in EBUS.The overall accuracy in group B was higher than in group A (23.9% vs. 9.5%, respectively; P=0.0001). Overall test accuracy and sensitivity of C-TBNA was 66% versus 86% and 63% versus 86% in groups A and B, respectively. The negative predictive values of C-TBNA improved after EBUS training (19% vs. 33%, P<0.001). Inadequate samples were less frequent in group B than in group A (31.1% vs. 49.7%, respectively; P=0.00001).Diagnostic performance of C-TBNA improves after EBUS training. C-TBNA should remain in the armamentarium of every bronchoscopist and on the curriculum of all pulmonary fellowship training programs even if EBUS technology is available.