Background: Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is a widely-accepted method for obtaining both benign and malignant mediastinal lymph node samples. We present the results obtained with a modification that simplifies sampling, known as fine-needle capillary sampling or EBUS-FNC.
Methods: A prospective observational study with 44 consecutive patients who underwent EBUS at the University of Navarra Clinic in Pamplona (Spain). All samples were obtained by EBUS-FNC instead of by conventional EBUS-TBNA. No suction was used, and the internal stylus was not completely withdrawn at any time.
Results: The examination of the mediastinum by means of EBUS identified the presence of lymphadenopathies or mediastinal masses in 38 patients (86.4%). Samples were taken from more than one lymph node in 23 patients (52.3%). EBUS-FNC provided adequate and representative material for interpretation in all patients, and diagnostic performance was 87%. Sensitivity for the detection of lung cancer with EBUS-FNC was 84%. Mild complications were only recorded in two patients (4.5%).
Conclusions: Our study suggests that EBUS-FNC is a safe technique, comparable to EBUS-TBNA in efficacy, and is able to obtain adequate samples