Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is performed with a dedicated 22- or 21-gauge needle while suction is applied. Fine-needle sampling without suction (capillary sampling) has been studied for endoscopic ultrasound and for biopsies at various body sites and has resulted in similar diagnostic yield and fewer traumatic samples. However, the role of EBUS-guided transbronchial needle capillary sampling (EBUS-TBNCS) is still to be determined.
Adults with suspicious hilar or mediastinal lymph nodes (LNs) were included in a single-blinded, prospective, randomized trial comparing EBUS-TBNA and EBUS-TBNCS. The primary end point was the concordance rate between the two techniques in terms of adequacy and diagnosis of cytologic samples. The secondary end point was the concordance rate between the two techniques in terms of quality of samples.
A total of 115 patients and 192 LNs were studied. Concordance between EBUS-TBNA and EBUS-TBNCS was high, with no significant difference in adequacy (88% vs 88%, respectively [P ± .858]; concordance rate, 83.9% [95% CI, 77.9-88.8]); diagnosis (36% vs 34%, respectively [P ± .289]; concordance rate, 95.8% [95% CI, 92-92.8]); diagnosis of malignancy (28% vs 26%, respectively [P ± .125]; concordance rate, 97.9% [95% CI, 94.8-99.4]); or sample quality (concordance rate, 83.3% [95% CI, 73.3-88.3]). Concordance between EBUS-TBNA and EBUS-TBNCS was high irrespective of LN size (≤ 1 cm vs . 1 cm).
Regardless of LN size, no differences in adequacy, diagnosis, or quality were found between samples obtained using EBUS-TBNA and those obtained using EBUS-TBNCS. There is no evidence of any benefit derived from the practice of applying suction to EBUS-guided biopsies.
ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT00886847; URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov