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Clinical Investigations: TECHNIQUES |

Transbronchial Needle Aspiration*: Guidance With CT Fluoroscopy

Charles S. White, MD; Eric A. Weiner, MD; Pavni Patel, MBBS; E. James Britt, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Diagnostic Radiology (Drs. White and Patel) and the Division of Pulmonary Medicine (Drs. Weiner and Britt), Department of Internal Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Correspondence to: Charles S. White, MD, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 22 S Greene St, Baltimore, MD 21201; e-mail: cwhite@umm.edu



Chest. 2000;118(6):1630-1638. doi:10.1378/chest.118.6.1630
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Background: Bronchoscopy with transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) is valuable to diagnose lesions in the mediastinum and lung, but conventional fluoroscopic guidance may be suboptimal. We describe the use of CT fluoroscopy to provide real-time, transaxial TBNA localization, thus facilitating biopsy.

Methods: Patients were selected because of prior unsuccessful bronchoscopy or anticipated difficulty owing to small size or inaccessibility of the lesion. CT fluoroscopy consists of a spiral CT scanner adapted using a rapid-reconstruction algorithm and hardware that permits real-time in-room imaging. The bronchoscope was inserted on the CT scanner, which was used to guide TBNA instruments into the target lesion.

Results: Of 27 patients who underwent TBNA with CT fluoroscopic assistance, 15 had mediastinal nodes, and 12 had lung nodules or focal infiltrates. Mean lesion size was 1.7 cm in the mediastinum, 2.2 cm in the lung. A correct diagnosis was established in 10 of 12 mediastinal lesions (83%) for which follow-up was available and in 8 lung lesions (67%). Diagnoses included small cell and non-small cell lung cancer and invasive aspergillosis. False-negative results were caused by sampling errors or inability to reach the lesion as documented by CT fluoroscopy. Postprocedure CT fluoroscopy revealed no complications.

Conclusion: CT fluoroscopy provides effective, real-time guidance for TBNA and may be particularly valuable in patients with small or less accessible mediastinal or lung lesions.

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