Objective: Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration is a new minimally invasive test for investigating mediastinal and hilar lymphadenopathy. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between a recurrent malignant lymph node and lymphadenopathy due to sarcoidosis in patients who develop lymphadenopathy after surgery for a malignant tumor. Methods: Between December 2009 and October 2012, we performed endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration in 13 selected patients with a suspected recurrence in the mediastinum and/or hilum of the lung after surgical resection of a malignant tumor. We examined their medical records to obtain information on the diagnosis, the sizes of lymph nodes, the number of needle passes and other complications. Results: Definitive diagnoses were made using endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration in 10 patients (three lung adenocarcinomas, one prostate carcinoma, one renal cell carcinoma, one neuroendocrine tumor and four sarcoidosis). Pathological specimens showing non-caseating granulomas led to the diagnosis of sarcoidosis in four patients; their previous malignancies had been papillary adenocarcinoma of the thyroid, carcinoma of the gingiva, thymoma and bladder cancer, but no recurrences were observed. The median of the longest diameter in 15 lymph nodes was 22 mm (range 13-35), and the median number of needle passes was two times (range 1-5) without severe complications. Conclusions: Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration might be useful in differentiating between benign lymphadenopathy, including sarcoidosis, and cancer recurrence in patients with mediastinal or hilar lymphadenopathy after surgical resection of a malignant tumor.
- Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration
- Lymph node metastasis
- Mediastinal and hilar lymphadenopathy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging