Diagnostic Accuracy of Endobronchial Ultrasound-Guided Transbronchial Needle Aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) in Real Life

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: EBUS-TBNA is an integral tool in the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer and other diseases involving mediastinal lymphadenopathy. Most studies attesting to the performance of EBUS-TBNA are prospective analyses performed under strict protocols. The objective of our study was to compare the accuracy of EBUS-TBNA to surgery in diagnosing hilar and mediastinal pathologies in a tertiary hospital, staffed by pulmonologists with and without formal interventional pulmonary training. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed subjects who underwent EBUS-TBNA followed by a confirmatory surgical procedure from January 2012 to December 2018. The primary outcome was to evaluate the accuracy of EBUS-TBNA in the diagnosis of all mediastinal disease. Secondary analyses determined the accuracy of EBUS-TBNA in cancer, NSCLC, and non-malignant lesions individually. Results: One hundred and forty-three subjects had an EBUS-TBNA procedure followed by surgery. EBUS-TBNA for all pathologies had an accuracy of 81.2% (CI 95% 73.8–87.4) and sensitivity of 55.1% (CI 95% 41.5–68.3). The accuracy and sensitivity of individual groups were: cancer (81.7, 48.8%), NSCLC (84, 48.3%), and non-malignancy (78.9, 60%). The NSCLC group had 15 false negatives and 5 (33.3%) of them were due to non-sampling of EBUS accessible nodes. Missed sampling led to a change in the final staging in 8.6% of NSCLC subjects. Conclusion: The accuracy of EBUS-TBNA across all groups was comparable to those reported previously. However, the sensitivity was comparatively lower. This was primarily due to the large number of EBUS-TBNA accessible lymph nodes that were not sampled. This data highlights the need for guidelines outlining the best sampling approach and lymph node selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 7 2020


  • accuracy
  • bronchoscopy
  • mediastinoscopy
  • staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnostic Accuracy of Endobronchial Ultrasound-Guided Transbronchial Needle Aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) in Real Life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this