Utility of endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration in patients with tuberculous intrathoracic lymphadenopathy

A multicentre study

Neal Navani, Philip L. Molyneaux, Ronan A. Breen, David W. Connell, Annette Jepson, Matthew Nankivell, James M. Brown, Stephen Morris-Jones, Benjamin Ng, Melissa Wickremasinghe, Ajit Lalvani, Robert C. Rintoul, George Santis, Onn Min Kon, Sam M. Janes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

146 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) has emerged as an important tool for the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer but its role in the diagnosis of tuberculous intrathoracic lymphadenopathy has not been established. The aim of this study was to describe the diagnostic utility of EBUS-TBNA in patients with intrathoracic lymphadenopathy due to tuberculosis (TB). Methods: 156 consecutive patients with isolated intrathoracic TB lymphadenitis were studied across four centres over a 2-year period. Only patients with a confirmed diagnosis or unequivocal clinical and radiological response to antituberculous treatment during follow-up for a minimum of 6 months were included. All patients underwent routine clinical assessment and a CT scan prior to EBUS-TBNA. Demographic data, HIV status, pathological findings and microbiological results were recorded. Results: EBUS-TBNA was diagnostic of TB in 146 patients (94%; 95% CI 88% to 97%). Pathological findings were consistent with TB in 134 patients (86%). Microbiological investigations yielded a positive culture of TB in 74 patients (47%) with a median time to positive culture of 16 days (range 3e84) and identified eight drug-resistant cases (5%). Ten patients (6%) did not have a specific diagnosis following EBUS; four underwent mediastinoscopy which confirmed the diagnosis of TB while six responded to empirical antituberculous therapy. There was one complication requiring an inpatient admission. Conclusions: EBUS-TBNA is a safe and effective firstline investigation in patients with tuberculous intrathoracic lymphadenopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-893
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

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