A randomized controlled trial evaluating airway inspection effectiveness during endobronchial ultrasound bronchoscopy

Lonny Yarmus, Jason Akulian, Ricardo Ortiz, Richard Thompson, Karen Oakjones-Burgess, Sixto Arias, Roy Semaan, David Feller-Kopman, Hans Lee, Ko Pen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Endobronchial ultrasound transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) has revolutionized the evaluation of patients with mediastinal and hilar adenopathy. Limitations of conventional endobronchial ultrasound (C-EBUS) bronchoscopes include the inability to perform a complete airway inspection, low definition optics, and limited maneuverability. These limitations require the use of a standard bronchoscope to perform an airway examination prior to the EBUS procedure. Recently, a hybrid endobronchial ultrasound (H-EBUS) bronchoscope with high definition optics and increased maneuverability has been introduced. Our objective was to assess the ability of H-EBUS to perform a full airway inspection and TBNA. Methods: Patients referred for EBUS-TBNA were prospectively randomized to either form of EBUS from November 2013 to January 2014. The primary outcome was the airway segment visualization in each lobe using an EBUS bronchoscope. Secondary outcomes included the number of bronchoscopes used per procedure, procedure length, diagnostic yield and specimen adequacy. Results: Sixty-two consecutive patients undergoing EBUS-TBNA were randomized to H-EBUS (n=30) or C-EBUS (n=32). In cases in which EBUS-TBNA was the only procedure performed (n=32), use of a second bronchoscope to perform an adequate airway inspection was significantly higher in C-EBUS compared to H-EBUS (5 vs. 0, P=0.046). There was better segmental visualization achieved in multiple lobes when using H-EBUS (P<0.01). No differences in TBNA sample diagnostic yield, specimen adequacy or procedure time were noted when comparing bronchoscopes (P= NS). Conclusions: Use of an H-EBUS may improve the ability to perform an adequate airway inspection potentially obviating the need for a conventional bronchoscope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1825-1832
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Bronchoscopy
  • Endobronchial ultrasound
  • Lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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