Initial experience with a new technique of endoscopic and ultrasonographic access for biopsy of para-aortic (station 6) mediastinal lymph nodes without traversing the aorta
Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, CHUM Endoscopic Tracheobronchial and Oesophageal Center, University of Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada. Electronic address: . The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery
(Impact Factor: 4.17).
10/2012; 144(4):787-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.07.003
All lymph node stations but the para-aortic are accessible by a combination of endoscopic ultrasound and endobronchial ultrasound. We recently described an echographic-endoscopic technique for the biopsy of para-aortic (station 6) lymph nodes without traversing the thoracic aorta. This study reviewed our initial experience with this new technique.
This first-in-human evaluation of the biopsy of station 6 mediastinal lymph nodes with curvilinear endoscopic ultrasound without arterial puncture used a retrospective case series design to study 12 consecutive patients who underwent this new technique. Station 6 lymph nodes were approached with a long fine needle aspiration approach (6-8 cm) through the proximal esophagus. The needle was passed through the esophagus into the mediastinum just medial to the left subclavian artery. It was then directed toward the para-aortic location (6-8 cm trajectory) to reach and enter the para-aortic lymph nodes without piercing the aorta or great vessels.
Successful cytologic diagnoses of station 6 lymph nodes were obtained in all cases (lymphocytes in all samples). No morbidity resulted from the procedure, nor was any observed at 30 days after the procedure. Patient anatomy may preclude safe access in certain situations.
Endoscopic ultrasound access of para-aortic (station 6) lymph nodes allows complete, minimally invasive mediastinal lymph node staging and diagnosis without traversal of the aorta. This technique, the final piece of the puzzle required for complete staging of the mediastinum with nonsurgical endoscopic techniques, is reproducible and safe.
Available from: Ugo Cioffi
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The gold standard for staging the local extension (T stage) and lymph node (LN) status (N stage) of esophageal cancer is endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS). When biopsy of the peritumoral LNs is performed using EUS, there is a risk of specimen contamination secondary to piercing the primary tumor; this shortcoming can be circumvented with endobronchial ultrasonography (EBUS). Moreover, EBUS allows for biopsy of LN stations not accessible with EUS.
The study consisted of a prospective clinical trial. Fifty-two consecutive patients with potentially resectable esophageal cancer referred for endoscopic staging were prospectively enrolled. Radial and convex EUS followed by convex EBUS were performed during a single staging procedure. The LNs not accessible by EUS were biopsied using EBUS. Results of the EBUS procedure were compared to those of EUS in terms of the addition of staging information, upstaging, and confirmation of stage.
The combined EBUS-EUS procedure was performed in 42 patients. Ten patients were excluded. In all, 54 LNs were biopsied under EUS guidance and 48 LNs were biopsied under EBUS guidance. The EUS results were positive for metastatic esophageal cancer in 29 LNs (54%), and EBUS was positive in 10 LNs (21%). The addition of EBUS to EUS in the staging of esophageal cancer led to nodal and patient upstaging in 5 patients (12%) and confirmed the EUS stage with additional negative or positive LN sampling in 29 patients (69%). Positive EBUS that led to upstaging (5 patients) changed the treatment plan from potentially resectable to palliative. There was no morbidity related to EBUS.
A combined EBUS-EUS staging procedure improves precision in staging, leads to upstaging, and can change the treatment plan in patients with esophageal cancer.
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ABSTRACT: Accurate mediastinal staging is essential to determining the optimal therapeutic strategy for many patients with lung cancer. Computed tomography and positron emission tomography are first steps, but frequently tissue sampling is recommended to confirm the radiographic findings. Mediastinoscopy has been the gold standard for thirty years, but the new technologies of esophageal endoscopic ultrasound and endobronchial ultrasound provide a less invasive method for biopsy. These techniques enable needle aspiration sampling of nearly all mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes, and experience with them is now sufficiently mature to conclude that they can be equivalent if not preferable to mediastinoscopy. The keys to achieving accurate results are skillful execution combined with sound clinical judgment regarding when to use which techniques. Patients with lung cancer are best served by clinicians experienced with all three methods for invasive mediastinal staging.
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