Application of endobronchial ultrasonography using a guide sheath and electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy in the diagnosis of atypical bacteriologically-negative pulmonary tuberculosis

Ye Gu, Chunyan Wu, Fangyou Yu, Xuwei Gui, Jun Ma, Liping Cheng, Qin Sun, Wei Sha


Background: In the absence of a positive sputum bacteriological result, pathological and bacteriological examinations of lung lesion biopsies are important methods to confirm bacteriological-negative tuberculosis. Endobronchial ultrasonography with guide sheath (EBUS-GS) and electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) are two new endobronchial diagnostic techniques, the combination of which has greatly facilitated the diagnosis of peripheral pulmonary lesions and is an especially useful, minimally invasive, effective diagnostic method for bacteriologically-negative tuberculosis cases.
Methods: A total of 78 patients were included in this study with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis based on clinical manifestations, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. The patients underwent a high-resolution chest CT scan before bronchoscopy, A method was selected (EBUS-GS alone, or EBUS-GS + ENB) based on the lesion site and the level and angle of the bronchus involved. After the lesion was found, a puncture needle, biopsy forceps, and brushing forceps were used to collect a tissue sample.
Results: Forty-four patients were diagnosed with tuberculosis; 1, nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) lung disease; 15, lung cancer; 15, pulmonary infection; 1, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA); and 2, pneumoconiosis. A total of 25 patients of TB (56.8%) were successfully diagnosed with EBUS-GS plus ENB. Among the patients with confirmed diagnosis, 9 were diagnosed with pathological examination; 4, genetic analysis; 11, positive smear; and 14, positive culture.
Conclusions: The introduction of EBUS and ENB in China has provided a new direction for the diagnosis of atypical bacteriological-negative tuberculosis, as the techniques are less invasive and less expensive than thoracoscopy.