Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS TBNA)
Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration is a special technique used to take samples of body tissue from inside the chest. It is also known as EBUS TBNA for short. The procedure is carried out using a special kind of bronchoscope. This is a thin flexible kind of 'telescope' which passes through the mouth and into the airways. The bronchoscope (often shortened to 'scope') allows doctors to see inside the lungs and carry out the procedure.
EBUS TBNA allows doctors to take samples of tissue without having to do an operation. It is used to take tissue samples from an area of the body called the mediastinum. The mediastinum is part of the chest and contains the heart, thymus, gullet (oesophagus), windpipe (trachea) and various nerves and lymph nodes. This area of the body is normally very difficult to get access to, which is why EBUS TBNA is such a useful procedure.
EBUS TBNA may be used to:
- Investigate enlarged lymph nodes in the mediastinum.
- Diagnose conditions such as sarcoidosis or tuberculosis.
- Diagnose cancer outside the bronchi.
- 'Stage' cancer by taking tissue samples from the lymph nodes.