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Diagn Cytopathol. 2014 Dec;42(12):1045-50. doi: 10.1002/dc.23164. Epub 2014 Apr 1.

Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy-guided fine needle aspiration for the diagnosis of lung lesions.

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Robert J Tomsich Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.


Many peripheral lung lesions are beyond the reach of conventional bronchoscopes, and require percutaneous CT-guided or open surgical biopsy, which carry increased risks to the patient. Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) is a relatively new technique, which uses an image guided localization system to direct steerable bronchoscopic tools to predetermined points within the bronchial tree. This technology allows improved access to peripheral lesions in particular. We investigated the sensitivity and specificity of ENB-guided fine needle aspiration (FNA) in the diagnosis of lung lesions. All ENB-guided FNAs performed at one institution were included in the study. The superDimension i-Logic Systemâ„¢ was used in all cases. Pathologic reports of the ENB-guided FNAs, as well as all other pulmonary sampling performed simultaneously with the FNA and within 1 year of the ENB-guided FNA were reviewed. Patients with a positive ENB-guided FNA or malignancy within the same lobe within the follow-up period were considered positive for malignancy. Patients with an atypical diagnosis but no definitive malignancy were considered negative for malignancy for statistical purposes. Ninety-one patients underwent 95 ENB-guided FNAs over a 3-year period. Thirty-five patients (38%) were positive for malignancy. ENB-guided FNA had a sensitivity of 63% for the detection of malignancy. The sensitivity for the detection of malignancy using all ENB-guided sampling methods, including FNA, bronchoscopic biopsy, and bronchial brushing was 83%. Pathologists and cytotechnologists should be aware of ENB-guided FNA as an emerging technology with a relatively high sensitivity for the diagnosis of peripheral lung lesions.


electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy; fine needle aspiration; lung cancer; lung nodules

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