2008 Volume 216 Issue 1 Pages 81-93
Diagnosis of suspected cancer in the periphery of the lung is difficult. A flexible ultrathin bronchoscope has been developed for the diagnosis of peripherally located pulmonary lesions that cannot be reached with the sampling devices for standard flexible bronchoscopes. The diagnostic yield with forceps and a brush for ultrathin bronchoscopes, however, is not adequate, especially when a lesion is not exposed to the bronchial lumen. We have thus developed a novel needle-type sampling device and tested its yield in transbronchial cytology. The device consists of an elongated dental H-file (0.4 mm in diameter and 110 cm in length), a housing sheath (1.0 mm in outer diameter), and a novel handle, which enables rapid out-and-in motion of the needle. Ten consecutive patients with a peripheral pulmonary lesion who had an indication for diagnostic procedure with a flexible ultrathin bronchoscope were enrolled. The optimal bronchial route to the lesion was analyzed with virtual bronchoscopy in a data set obtained with high-resolution computed tomography, and a novel bronchial route labeling system (prior-ridge-based relative orientation nomenclature) was employed to guide insertion of the bronchoscope. Sampling with the novel needle was performed prior to use of the forceps and brush under conventional fluoroscopy. In all the cases, sampling with the needle was successful and the amount of the specimen was sufficient for cytology. Our novel sampling system with flexible ultrathin bronchoscopes may contribute to accurate and minimally invasive diagnosis of peripheral pulmonary lesions.