Endobronchial Ultrasound

Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) is a technique that uses ultrasound along with a bronchoscope to visualize the airway wall and structures adjacent to it. EBUS delivers high diagnostic informative value, and low risk to the patient. It may replace more invasive methods for staging lung cancer or for evaluating future lesions.

Bronchoscopy is a routine method used for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed within the lungs. It allows direct visualization within the lumen of the upper airway and the tracheobronchial tree including subsegmental bronchi. Bronchoscopy allows sampling of the respiration tract secretions and cells, and biopsy of the airway, lung, and mediastinal structures.

Indications for bronchoscopy can include any of the following:

  • Persistent or unexplained cough, hoarseness, vocal cord paralysis
  • Haemoptysis – coughing up of blood from respiratory tract, generally indicating severe infection
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Evaluation for lung transplant rejection
  • Evaluation for chest or airway trauma
  • Lung cancer diagnosis and staging
  • Positive sputum cytology regardless of a normal chest x-ray
  • Suspected tracheoesophageal fistula
  • Removal of foreign bodies from the lungs

Endobronchial Ultrasound Transbronchial Needle Aspriation (EBUS-TBNA) is one one method for sampling lymph nodes and nodules under real-time view.  This procedure uses an ultrasonic bronchoscope, specifically designed for diagnostic biopsies and staging in the lung. The scope’s design enables physicians to visualize lymph nodes and surrounding vessels in real-time, via ultrasound, while simultaneously viewing the endoscopic image. The EBUS-TBNA System makes biopsies safer and more accurate than conventional “blind” TBNA and offers a less invasive, less costly alternative to mediastinoscopy.

Indications:

  • Lung cancer diagnosis and staging
  • Distant metastasis of other known or unknown cancer types
  • Lymphoma (benign or malignant disease of the lymph nodes)
  • Other diseases
    • Tuberculosis
    • Sarcoidosis
    • Histoplasmosis (fungal disease)

EBUS is performed by specialty trained interventional pulmonologists at Jameson Hospital. To learn more, contact UPMC Jameson Pulmonary Care at 724-656-2249.