Bronchoscopic sampling of lymph nodes is essential for staging lung cancer and planning individual therapy. Most of the currently employed transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) techniques enable forward advancement and penetration only. Since lymph nodes are located around the bronchial tree, however, a lateral approach is vital for obtaining bronchoscopic sampling.
Current TBNA success rates for obtaining lateral bronchoscopic samplings are estimated at 39-78% (a).
Bronchoscopic sampling of peripheral pulmonary tumor nodules (PPTN) is critical for their evaluation. However, in most cases PPTN lie perpendicular to the intra-bronchial lumen, making sampling very difficult.
Current diagnostic yield of PPTN's by standard bronchoscopy is estimated at 14-31% (b).
(a) Thorax. 2005 Nov;60(11):949-55. Epub 2005 Jun 30