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Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)

  • Posted on- Apr 07, 2018
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Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a minimally invasive but highly effective procedure which is used to diagnose lung cancer, infections and other diseases which are causing enlarged lymph nodes in the chest.

Doctors will perform an endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) to cure and stage lung cancer and to determine if the disease has spread to the other parts of the body like the lymph nodes.

During an Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) procedure, a thin, flexible instrument called a bronchoscope is fitted with an ultrasound device and guided through the patient's mount and trachea.

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) allows doctors to perform a procedure known as transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) which help them to obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes without conventional surgery.

The samples can be used for curing and staging lung cancer, detecting infections and identifying inflammatory diseases that can affect the lungs such as sarcoidosis or other cancers like lymphoma.

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) allows the doctor to get real-time images in and around the lungs and to identify difficult to reach tumors. Doctors can also use Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) to biopsy a tissue or fluid sample from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes of the chest.

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a little bit invasive option to conventional mediastinoscopy, a surgical procedure requiring a series of incisions in the chest under general anesthesia.

Using Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), doctors can perform the same procedure using a very thin needle aspiration under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting.

What makes Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) different?

At the time of the conventional diagnostic procedure, a surgery known as mediastinoscopy is performed to provide access to the chest. A small cut is made in the neck just above the breastbone or next to the breastbone.

After that, a thin scope known as mediastinoscopy is inserted through the opening to provide access to the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes. Tissue or fluid is then collected via biopsy.

During an endobronchial ultrasound:

  • The physician can perform needle aspiration on lymph nodes using a bronchoscope inserted through the mouth
  • A specific endoscope joined with an ultrasound processor and a fine-gauge aspiration needle is guided through the patient's trachea
  • No incisions are necessary

Benefits of Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)

  • It provides real-time imaging of the surface of the airways, blood vessels, lungs, and lymph nodes.
  • The improved images allow the doctor to easily view difficult-to-reach areas and to access more, and smaller, lymph nodes for biopsy with the aspiration needle than through conventional mediastinoscopy.
  • The accuracy and speed of the Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) procedure lend itself to rapid onsite pathologic evaluation Pathologists in the operating room can process and examine biopsy samples as they are obtained and can request additional samples to be taken immediately if needed.
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is performed under moderate sedation or general anesthesia.
  • Patients recover quickly and can usually go home the same day.


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