Trans Bronchial Needle Aspiration (TBNA)


Used for diagnosis and staging of bronchial diseases, including mediastinal or peripheral pathologies, subcarinal and parabronchial nodes and parenchymal abnormalities. It has been established as a minimally invasive, safe and cost-effective bronchoscopic technique. The standard TBNA technique uses 21-gauge cytology needles or 19-gauge histology needles together with a flexible bronchovideoscope. To localise the mass or node to be aspirated the bronchoscopist uses chest radiographs and CT scan. The needle is then advanced to the sampling area and moved out of the sheath. The target tissue is pierced with the needle and aspiration is started. After aspiration, the needle is fully retracted into the sheath and withdrawn through the working channel. TBNA is also a useful technique to diagnose lymphatic diseases e.g. lymphoma or adenopathy. For enlarged lymph nodes it might be required to obtain a biopsy to identify what exactly caused the enlargement of the lymph node. Therefore a sample is taken during a brief procedure and then pathologically examined for a final diagnosis. Another opportunity that TBNA provides the diagnosis of pulmonary and mediastinal lesions (particularly lung cancer) in a minimally invasive fashion. It can help determine the type of the tumour and whether an abnormality seen on a chest X-ray or CT scan is malignant or benign.