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Transbronchial biopsy (TBBX) for peripheral lung lesions is usually performed with the help of fluoroscopy, but the yield varies widely. This feasibility study aimed to assess the ability of endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) to provide imaging guidance for TBBX. In a prospective study, 50 consecutive patients referred for TBBX for peripheral lesions underwent fluoroscopy-guided and EBUS-guided TBBX in random order. Diagnostic yields were compared for both modalities and feasibility was assessed for EBUS. Diagnostic material was obtained in 80% of patients with EBUS and 76% of patients with fluoroscopy. There was a nonsignificant trend for EBUS to be better than fluoroscopy for lesions <3 cm in diameter. Four lesions could not be visualised with EBUS. There were no significant complications associated with the use of EBUS. Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial biopsy is feasible. It appears to be at least equivalent to fluoroscopy without the accompanying radiation exposure. Further large-scale studies are indicated to assess the possible role of endobronchial ultrasound as a potential imaging method of choice for the biopsy of peripheral lung lesions.
PMID: 12412691 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]