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Endosc Ultrasound. 2019 Mar 12. doi: 10.4103/eus.eus_65_18. [Epub ahead of print]

Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration under general anesthesia versus bronchoscopist-directed deep sedation: A retrospective analysis.

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Department of Pneumology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.



Different sedation strategies are used during endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) for the diagnostic workup of lung cancer including general anesthesia (GA) and moderate sedation. However, no data are available about EBUS-TBNA under deep sedation (DS) with fiberoptic intubation directed by the investigator.

Materials and Methods:

A retrospective analysis of EBUS-TBNAs under GA (n = 160) or DS (n = 105) was performed.


Unadjusted diagnostic yield did not differ significantly between the groups (GA: 42.5% vs. DS: 53.3%P= 0.1018). Similar results were obtained when only patients with a final diagnosis of malignancy were analyzed (GA: 53.6% vs. DS: 61.5%P= 0.2675). Adverse events (AEs) occurred more often under DS (GA: 27.5% vs. DS: 59.1%P< 0.0001) due to more sedation-related problems whereas severe AEs tended to be higher under GA (GA: 7.5% vs. DS: 1.9%P= 0.0523).


In summary, our data show that the diagnostic yield and the complication rate of EBUS-TBNA performed under DS are similar compared to GA. Hence, in an appropriate setting, EBUS-TBNA can be performed safely under DS.


Bronchoscopy; complications; diagnostic yield; endobronchial ultrasound; sedation


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