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Is endosonography guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) for sarcoidosis as good as we think?
  1. S M Wildi1,
  2. M A Judson2,
  3. M Fraig3,
  4. W E Fickling1,
  5. N Schmulewitz1,
  6. S Varadarajulu1,
  7. S S Roberts1,
  8. P Prasad1,
  9. R H Hawes1,
  10. M B Wallace1,
  11. B J Hoffman1
  1. 1Digestive Disease Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
  2. 2Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr B J Hoffman
    Professor of Medicine, Digestive Disease Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA; hoffmanbmusc.edu

Abstract

Background: Preliminary data show that endosonography guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) may be an accurate method for diagnosing sarcoidosis. However, these data were obtained in a small selected group of patients with a very high pretest probability of sarcoidosis. This retrospective study reports on the use of EUS-FNA in an unselected group of patients with mediastinal lymphadenopathy of unknown origin.

Methods: The EUS database of a single tertiary referral centre was reviewed for patients who underwent EUS-FNA for mediastinal lymphadenopathy of unknown origin. Clinical presentation and imaging studies of each case were carefully reviewed and the diagnosis “sarcoidosis” or “no sarcoidosis” attributed if possible. The diagnoses were compared with the result of EUS-FNA.

Results: One hundred and twenty four patients were investigated. In 35 cases EUS-FNA identified granulomas (group 1); in the other 89 cases (group 2) no granulomas were detected. The definite diagnoses in group 1 were sarcoidosis (n = 25), indefinite (n = 7), no sarcoidosis (n = 3). The definite diagnoses in group 2 were sarcoidosis (n = 3), indefinite (n = 9), no sarcoidosis (n = 77). Of the 77 cases with no sarcoidosis, 44 were diagnosed with other diseases. The other 33 showed non-specific changes in the FNA and sarcoidosis was excluded by negative non-EUS pathology (n = 17) and clinical presentation. The sensitivity and specificity for EUS-FNA were 89% (95% CI 82 to 94) and 96% (95% CI 91 to 98), respectively, after exclusion of the indefinite cases in both groups.

Conclusions: EUS-FNA is an accurate method for diagnosing sarcoidosis in an unselected group of patients with mediastinal lymphadenopathy. The reported sensitivity and specificity must be appreciated in the context of the difficult and often incomplete clinical diagnosis of sarcoidosis.

  • BAL, bronchoalveolar lavage
  • EUS-FNA, endosonography guided fine needle aspiration
  • TBB, transbronchial biopsy
  • sarcoidosis
  • mediastinal lymphadenopathy
  • endosonography
  • fine needle aspiration

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Footnotes

  • SMW was supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

  • Presented as a poster at the Digestive Disease Week 2003 in Orlando.