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Prospective randomised trial of endobronchial ultrasound‐guide sheath versus computed tomography‐guided percutaneous core biopsies for peripheral lung lesions

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Aim:  To determine diagnostic rate, complications and patient tolerability of endobronchial ultrasound‐guide sheath (EBUS‐GS) and computed tomography (CT)‐guided percutaneous core biopsy for peripheral lung lesions.

Methods:  Lesions >1 cm diameter on CT were randomised to either EBUS‐GS or CT‐guided biopsy. Excluded were patients with severe chronic obstructive airway disease, lesions touching visceral pleura or hilum, and patients with symptoms needing bronchoscopic evaluation. Patients completed preprocedure and postprocedure questionnaires on tolerability.

Results:  Of 64 participants (mean lesion size 29 ± 16 mm), 57 completed the study. Diagnostic sensitivity was 67% for EBUS‐GS and 78% for CT‐guided biopsy (P= not significant). In those with negative results, in the EBUS group, nine had a CT‐guided biopsy as a cross‐over, seven of which were positive. In the CT group, four had cross‐over EBUS‐GS of which three were diagnostic. Sensitivity for malignancy was 17/23 for EBUS‐GS (74%) and 23/26 (88%, P= not significant). For lesions <2 cm, CT‐guided biopsy had a significantly better diagnostic yield (80% vs 50%, P= 0.05). In EBUS‐GS cases, for lesions with an air bronchogram, sensitivity was 89%. Pneumothorax and intercostal catheter insertion occurred in three and two cases, respectively, for EBUS, and 10 and 3 cases for CT‐guided biopsy (P= 0.02 for pneumothorax). Nine unexpected admissions occurred after CT‐guided biopsy compared with three after EBUS‐GS. Overall, tolerability was high for both groups; however three patients had moderate‐to‐severe pain after CT‐guided biopsy.

Conclusions:  In lesions <2 cm, CT‐guided biopsy had higher yields; however, EBUS‐GS had better tolerability and fewer complications.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Respiratory Medicine 2: Radiology, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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